Patriots: Devin McCourty destroys Roger Goodell over opt-out deadline

Patriots safety Devin McCourty (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Patriots safety Devin McCourty (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

Patriots safety Devin McCourty blasted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell over the ridiculous opt-out deadline.

The total number of NFL players that have decided to opt out of the upcoming season due to apprehension regarding the ongoing global pandemic is over 40, and it figures to continue soaring this week.

However, according to a report by ESPN insider Adam Schefter, the league is pushing to move up the opt-out deadline from one week after the new collective bargaining agreement side letter is signed. This could come as early as Wednesday, which means that players would have just 48 hours to come to a decision.

It goes without saying that this is a pretty ruthless ploy from the NFL and it expectedly hasn’t sat well with certain players. That list includes New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who flamed commissioner Roger Goodell after learning of the news.

"“Monday will be our first day in the building, so to try to act like guys are trying to make a decision about something other than virtual meetings is a joke,” McCourty told reporters during a virtual interview over the weekend. “When players understand how much power we have, we’ve seen things change for us; primarily even with this deal, with the COVID-19 and trying to get everything back, we saw some of that strength. Hopefully, we’ll see how everything turns out come Wednesday, if it ends up being the deadline.”"

The Patriots have seen a total of eight players choose to sit out of the 2020 campaign thus far, which is the greatest loss of any team in the NFL by a wide margin. As McCourty implies here, this new deadline puts so much added and entirely unnecessary pressure on players, who should be given as much time as possible to decide whether to play during COVID-19.

After all, it’s not like the NFL is going to be sequestered in a bubble like other leagues. Teams will be forced to travel around the country to potential coronavirus hotbeds for games, so there’s a ton of risk that players will need to consider. The only real safety precaution the league has taken thus far is canceling the preseason, and even that wasn’t a huge concession.

It seems like McCourty is still on the fence about wanting to play this year and would like a few extra days (at least) to weigh the positives and negatives. When you consider that the CBA for the 2020 season was signed back in March, he has every right to feel this way.

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