Patriots Lead NFL In Opt-Outs, Aren’t Being Pressured To Play In 2020

Running back James White is one of 74 New England Patriots players who have, thus far, decided not to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season over concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

White called his decision a difficult one, but it’s come with no pressure from inside the organization.

“Everybody’s decision is completely 100-percent up to them,” White said in a video conference call Sunday. “Whatever they feel comfortable doing, there’s no pressure from anybody whatsoever. Everybody has their own unique family situations, health situations, and they’re going to make the best decision for them. There’s no pressure whatsoever from anybody.”

That should be clear since an NFL-high eight Patriots players have opted out thus far.

“We all have to make decisions,” head coach Bill Belichick said Friday. “I talked to those guys and they explained their situation, and they had to make the decision that was best for them, and I totally respect and support it 100 percent.”

Running back Brandon Bolden, wide receiver Marqise Lee, fullback Danny Vitale, tight end Matt LaCosse, guard Najee Toran, right tackle Marcus Cannon, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung have so far elected to opt-out. NFL players will have a few more days to mull over the decision before training camp officially opens in mid-August.

More Patriots: Why These Captains Chose Not To Opt-Out For 2020 NFL Season

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