Chance Warmack is not willing to take the risk.
The veteran guard who was the Tennessee Titans’ first-round draft pick in 2013 is one of a handful of NFL players who has elected to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Warmack had hoped to make a comeback this season after he sat out 2019 to recover from injuries that have plagued him in recent years. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks in March and was expected to compete for a job as a backup.
The decision means the 28-year-old will be paid a $150,000 stipend this season, and his one-year, $910,000 contract with the Seahawks now will cover the 2021 season.
Warmack is not considered an “at-risk” player. His decision, according to multiple reports, was motivated by the fact that he has had several friends and family members contract the virus, one of whom died.
Warmack started all 48 games he played over four seasons with the Titans, including all 32 during his first two seasons in the league. A hand injury, which required surgery, limited him to two games in 2016. He spent the next two years with the Philadelphia Eagles and appeared in 20 contests (three starts). He was with the Eagles when they won Super Bowl LII but did not participate in any of that year’s playoff games.
In 2018, he became the first NFL player to collect on a Lloyd’s of London loss-of-value insurance policy, which paid him $3 million because his second NFL contract was less than $20 million. As the 10th overall pick in 2013, he signed a four-year, $12,167 million deal with Tennessee. His second contract was a one-year, $1.5 million, free-agent pact with Philadelphia in 2017.
Warmack sat out all of 2019 to get healthy and alerted teams early in the offseason of his desire to try again. In addition to the hand injury with Tennessee, he also has dealt with knee issues.