Kansas City Chiefs starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will opt out of his contract for the 2020 NFL season. He is the first known player in the league to do so.
Duvernay-Tardif published a letter explaining his decision to Twitter on Friday night.
Given the worldwide sanitary crisis we are currently experiencing, the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to significant health and safety protocols to protect the players. There is no doubt in my mind the Chiefs’ medical staff have put together a strong plan to minimize the health risks associated with COVID-19 but some risks will remain.
This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally. That is why I have decided to take the Opt Out Option negotiated by the League and the NFLPA and officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season.
Being at the frontline during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system. I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus in our communities simply to play the sport that I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.
I want to thank everyone in the Kansas City Chiefs organization for their support and understanding.
Laurent Duvernay Tardif
Earlier Friday evening, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero described players’ two opt-out options.
Details on two types of opt-outs, which are irrevocable and due 7 days from NFL-NFLPA deal being finalized:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 24, 2020
- High risk: $350,000 stipend with no offset, accrued/credited season
- Voluntary: $150,000 salary advance, no accrued/credited season
Either way, contract tolls.
Duvernay-Tardif, who has a medical degree from McGill University, has spent this offseason working in a long-care health facility.