Money could tempt some Detroit Lions rookies to opt-out of 2020 season

When it comes to undrafted rookies, it is a tall task for them to perform well enough in training camp where an NFL coaching staff decides to put them on the 53-man roster.

In fact, a very small percentage of those rookies around the league end up making a roster at all and it could be even more difficult in 2020 because there have not been any offseason programs to evaluate them.

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That, coupled with the current opt-out proposal from the league, may tempt some Detroit Lions undrafted rookies (and others from around the league) to take the money and run.

The money I am referring to is the $150,000 that the opt-out proposal says players will get if they choose to opt-out of the 2020 season because of concerns related to COVID-19.

From Pro Football Talk:

As one team executive remarked after reading our item regarding the full opt-our procedures, “If you were an undrafted player who could not make team, why not opt out?”

The undrafted player who gets cut ends up getting nothing beyond his signing bonus, which typically isn’t very much. By betting against making the team, the undrafted player ends up making $150,000.

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This approach becomes counterintuitive to the typical mindset of the football player. All of the undrafted players believe they will make the 53-man roster; it’s part of the confidence/hubris/delusion that has driven them this far in their careers. Taking the $150,000 and running would be the equivalent of betting “don’t pass” at a craps table.

Besides, the undrafted player who games the system for $150,000 likely makes it even harder for himself to have an NFL career, since owners, coaches, and General Managers will surely view differently a guy who bets against himself — and who pounces on a loophole in a system intended to provide relief to players with medical conditions or other legitimate concerns regarding the virus.

There’s another thing to consider: In a season that could have plenty of players out of action after testing positive, players who don’t make the final roster could find themselves on the team, at some point during the season.

Nation, if you were an undrafted rookie and you do not believe you will make an NFL roster out of training camp, would you take the $150,000 and run?

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