Patriots' Opt-Out Total Stops at 8...For Now
The 4 p.m. ET opt-out deadline for the 2020 NFL season has come and gone, and no more New England Patriots players have opted out of the 2020 season.
That means their opt-out total stops at eight. At least for now.
Those that have opted out from the Patriots are linebacker Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, starting right tackle Marcus Cannon, guard Najee Toran, tight end Matt LaCosse, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Dan Vitale and wide receiver Marqise Lee. New England leads the league in number of players opted out.
Moving forward, the only time an NFL player can opt out of the 2020 season is if a player is newly diagnosed with a high-risk condition or if a player's family member dies, is hospitalized or otherwise moves to a medical facility because of COVID-19 or a related condition.
So while New England's wave of opt outs has seemingly come to a crash, there's a chance more could opt out due to one of the aforementioned circumstances.
After the re-signing of rookie free-agent receiver Isaiah Zuber on Wednesday, New England's roster total sits at 74. Head coach Bill Belichick said during his video conference last week with the media that he wants to keep the roster at a maximum of 80 so the team can practice as an entire unit. Anything over 80 would require the team to do split-squad practices because of newly-implemented rules due to the pandemic.
Expect the team to make a few more additions. Maxing the roster out at 80 seems like the right move for a New England squad with many questions that need to be answered soon. With over $35 million in available cap space because of the opt outs, there is plenty of room for the Patriots to sign several players, whether they be high-profile or low-cost.
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