As players across the NFL began reporting to their respective training facilities this week, some of them told their coaches and general managers that they aren't comfortable playing during the pandemic and would be opting out for the season. Former Ohio State offensive tackle and current Cincinnati Bengal Isaiah Prince is the latest to make that decision.
The Bengals announced Friday morning on social media that Prince would be placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list this year.
Originally a sixth-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2019, Prince played four games for the Bengals last year as a rookie. He joined the Bengals when the team claimed him off waivers last December. He has not yet appeared in a game for Cincinnati.
Thus far, more than 30 players have made the decision to forgo the 2020 season. Prince is the first former Ohio State player known to have made this decision for the season.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed that players can opt-out of playing this year if they don't feel its in the best interest of their health or their families' health to compete. In accordance with their arrangement, Prince's contract with Cincinnati will tolled into 2021 and he will be eligible for a salary advance of $150,000. If he qualifies for a higher-risk opt-out, he would receive a $350,000 stipend for this year and he would accrue a season towards free agency.
In unrelated news, Bengals rookie quarterback and former Buckeye Joe Burrow officially signed his contract on Friday. Burrow was the No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL Draft. Burrow and Prince were teammates at Ohio State from 2015-2017.