Fortunately, Sporting News is safe from the wrath of Patriots security Patrick Chung, as SN’s Bill Bender explained on Wednesday why it is so ludicrous to suggest that coach Bill Belichick is the mastermind behind the alarming number of New England players who are choosing to to opt out of the Covid19 pandemic season.
32-year-old Chung is one of six Patriots players who signed out for 2020 on Thursday morning. Because the rest of the NFL is constantly scared of Belichick, many – including at least one team manager – immediately put together a conspiracy theory that The Coach van Patriots tries to improve the salary space and / or concept position of his team with the opt-outs of the player.
Chung and former Patriots cornerback Darius Butler aren’t here for the ‘stupid’ theories, to borrow the safety word.
MORE: Full List of NFL Players Opting Out
Chung appeared on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday, explaining his reason for opting out, citing the importance of his family’s safety over the money he would have earned in 2020. Chung’s cancellation appears to be voluntary, meaning he will earn a salary advance of $ 150,000 this year instead of the $ 4.85 million he would receive. His contract will continue until 2021.
When asked what Belichick said when Chung told the coach that he had decided to opt out, security said the details of their discussion were ‘private’, but he did offer some information.
“He understands that a serious pandemic is underway,” said Chung. “He totally understood. Bill, you think he’s a sergeant, but he’s actually a very caring person. So he totally understood and that was it. It was a short phone call.”
Five of the six Patriots players who opted out of the 2020 season – Chung, Dont’a Hightower, Dan Vitale, Brandon Bolden, and Najee Toran – volunteered to do so. Correct approach Marcus Cannon chose because he is a cancer survivor and is at high risk with regard to COVID-19.
IYER: How the Pats can replace those who signed out
The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed on opt-out rules on July 24 so that players can make their own decisions. The contracts for all players who opt out will be for 2021, and those who opt out for medical reasons because they are at high risk with regard to COVID-19 will receive $ 350,000 for the season. Those who voluntarily opt out receive $ 150,000 for the season. (Undrafted rookies who voluntarily opt out are not eligible to earn the $ 150,000 stipend.)
NFL players are said to have until Thursday, August 6 or seven days after the CBA change is complete, to decide whether to opt out of the 2020 season and earn the stipend / contract toll.