Early on Tuesday, rumors suggested that recent Chicago Bears acquisition Nick Foles might be opting out of the 2020 NFL season over concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. However, the most recent update on the quarterback’s situation suggests that there is no truth to the reports that he will be the first signal-caller to cite the COVID-19 crisis as his reason for sitting out.
As explained by NBC Sports Philadelphia on Tuesday, it’s possible that the rumors of Foles choosing not to play in the 2020 season originated from the fact that he and his wife, Tori, just had their second child, thus potentially raising concerns about health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic. In any case, this prompted the outlet’s John Clark to speak to some sources and reply to a tweet from Sports Radio 94WIP’s Howard Eskin inquiring about the speculation.
“Spoke to a family member of Nick Foles and he will be there at Bears camp tomorrow. He is not opting out,” Clark wrote in a tweet that can be viewed here.
So far, there have been more than 20 NFL players who have chosen to sit out due to pandemic-related concerns, according to a list published Tuesday afternoon by USA Today. Only one Chicago player — nose tackle Eddie Goldman — has opted out as of the article’s writing. Most of the other teams listed also had only one player opting out, with the New England Patriots having a league-leading six opt-outs.
Per an agreement between the NFL and its Players Association, players can receive a salary advance worth $150,000 on their current contracts if they voluntarily decide to miss the 2020 campaign, or a stipend valued at $350,000 if they qualify as a “high-risk” opt-out due to certain health conditions listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as COVID-19 risk factors. Contracts for individuals from both groups will toll to 2021, as further noted.
With Foles set to train with the rest of his team in preparation for the 2020 season, the veteran signal-caller is expected to compete with former No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky for the starting quarterback job. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the 31-year-old’s arrival in Chicago was seemingly driven by Trubisky’s struggles over the past two years after leading the Bears to a 12-4 record in 2018.
Foles was acquired via trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this year, following a 2019 campaign where he missed significant time as a result of injuries and ultimately lost his first-string job to rookie Gardner Minshew.