Eight Patriots players opted out for 2020. A pair of twins opted not to run the number to an even 10.
“Me and Dev have both spoken a lot about our stance on everything that goes on — I don’t think either one of us ever thought about actually opting out,” defensive back Jason McCourty told reporters on Friday, via NBC Sports Boston. “The opt-out itself just wasn’t worth it. I think for us, the love of the game and the ability to go out there — we didn’t really have a lot of issues that other people have, whether it was newborn kids, whether it was things that put them in high risk or close family members that put them in high risk.
“So for us, it was strictly from a family standpoint, we felt like it was worth it to give it a try and see what we were up against. And being able come into the building, seeing the things that would be done [to protect players], I think we thought it was necessary to go through that process.
“And I think us, like anybody in our society right now, if it was something that was at an extremely high risk to you or your family, of course you wouldn’t continue to do it if you could stop it. But I think for all of us right now playing that are in our building — I can’t speak for everybody, but I think we’re comfortable with the protocols and the measures that have been taken. I think all of us are in this thing together.”
And so the McCourtys are in it for good, along with all players who didn’t opt out. (That said, Devin didn’t like the early deadline.) Still, if concerns arise or if the pandemic gets significantly worse, there will be options for players — up to and including retirement.