Report: First Power 5 player, projected 1st-round pick opts out of 2020 season
In the last couple of days, several NFL players have opted out of the 2020 NFL season. NFL players who opt out will receive a $150,000 stipend. A player who opts out for medical reasons will receive $300,000 in compensation.
On Wednesday, the first big name to announce he won’t play the 2020 college football season was Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Farley is a projected first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“He has seen NFL players opt out and is uncomfortable with playing this year,” Schefter tweeted.
While not playing certainly limits the risk of injury of top prospects like Farley, not playing is also a risk, as others could move ahead of him on NFL Draft boards. Farley is a first-round talent; however, the “what have you done for me lately” crowd of scouts will see others in action, assuming there is action. Several defensive backs could have big seasons, thus moving Farley down draft boards.
It does make one wonder, however, how many players will opt to sit out the season like Farley due to COVID-19. Top projected picks like Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields could easily sit out and not lose much (if any) value ahead of the NFL Draft.
In related news, the SEC announced recently that if any athlete wants to sit out the 2020 season due to health concerns regarding COVID-19, the conference will honor their decision and announced that those athletes will have a scholarship in place and will remain in good standing with their universities moving forward.