KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs became the first player to opt out of the upcoming NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic on Friday.
Duvernay-Tardif earned a medical degree from McGill University in Canada and has been working to fulfill his requirements to become a doctor in the offseason. He has been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 this summer and said in a social media post that if he is going to take any health risks, it will be to help patients.
The NFL and its players association agreed earlier Friday to an opt-out clause for the upcoming season. Those who choose to voluntarily will receive a $150,000 stipend rather than their contractual salary, two people with knowledge of the decisions told The Associated Press. Those with medical opt outs will receive $350,000. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the stipend amount was not made public.
The deadline to opt out is Aug. 3.
Duvernay-Tardif signed a four-year deal in February 2017 that would have paid a base salary of $2.75 million this season.
The Chiefs welcomed rookies to training camp earlier this week, though most of their time was spent undergoing tests for COVID-19 and routine physicals. Veterans such as Duvernay-Tardif were expected to arrive in the coming days.
AP Pro Football Wriiters Barry Wilner and Rob Maaddi contributed.
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