NFL changes deadline for players to opt out of 2020 season

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The NFL opt-out deadline has been changed as players continue to deliberate on whether they will play in the 2020 season. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the new deadline is Thursday, August 6 at 4 p.m.

This comes amid eight Patriots players already deciding to opt out amid COVID-19 concerns, accepting a $150,000 stipend instead of their expected pay for 2020. Tight end Matt LaCosse was the latest to do so. Here's the full list of Patriots who have already decided to opt out ahead of the NFL deadline, as of Tuesday morning:

RB Brandon Bolden
OT Marcus Cannon
S Patrick Chung
LB Dont'a Hightower
TE Matt LaCosse
WR Marqise Lee
OG Najee Toran
FB Dan Vitale

Patriots safety and team captain Devin McCourty took his media availability time on Sunday to address major issues in the NFL and the United States, in lieu of answering questions from reporters. McCourty, who appears in a new video of the Patriots returning to the practice field in Foxboro, spoke candidly about the way the NFL has handled its own COVID-19 protocols and the opt-out deadline.

Patriots safety Devin McCourty has been one of the most outspoken critics of the NFL opt-out deadline for the 2020 season. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Patriots safety Devin McCourty has been one of the most outspoken critics of the NFL opt-out deadline for the 2020 season. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

"And then I guess the last thing is — standing up and speaking up — the last thing I’ll say is I think it’s an absolute joke that the NFL is changing the opt-out period, mainly because they don’t want to continue to see guys opt out," McCourty said. "I’m sure they’re shocked about how many guys have opted out. But it’s the same thing when we sign the CBA, some of those things that we think are good sometimes backfire. We have rookies who are locked in long-term contracts and tagged and tagged — you guys don’t think we would love to change that and help out the CBA? Well we can’t; that’s the point of signing an agreement.

"So I think it’s terrible. I think it’s B.S. that the league has changed that date, because you guys know, Monday will be our first day in the building. So to try to act like guys are making their decision [based on] something other than virtual meetings is a joke."

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