Patriots WR Marqise Lee opts out of 2020 season, according to reports – WCVB Boston

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Another New England Patriots player has decided to sit out the 2020 NFL season due to coronavirus concerns, according to reports.Wide receiver Marqise Lee, who signed with New England in April, becomes the seventh member of the team to opt out of the upcoming season.According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Lee became a first-time father in February and said protecting his newborn daughter, Alia, and his family was at the core of his decision.Jim McBride, of the Boston Globe, was the first to report that the 28-year-old receiver was opting out of the season.”This is a big sit-down process I had, with me and my significant other, as far as family goes. The risk factor in which we believe that’s going out there, it just wasn’t worth it in a sense. Just too many unknowns,” Lee told ESPN.com.”We knew New England, honestly, had a great system in place. But I told Coach (Bill Belichick), at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be doing him justice going out there because I wouldn’t be able to give him my all knowing my family was back at the house worrying about their situation.”Lee is the latest Patriots player to opt out of the 2020 season. No other NFL team has had more players opt out thus far, according to Reiss.Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, a three-time Super Bowl champion, and safety Patrick Chung were among the first six players to opt out.Hightower, who welcomed his first child earlier this month, was scheduled to make $8 million this year.”This wasn’t an easy decision, or one I made lightly, but I do feel that it’s the best decision for my family at this time,” reads a statement from Hightower that was shared on social media. “I’m so grateful for the support of my teammates and coaches as well, and I will try to continue to lead and help as much as I can. 2020 has been a challenging year for our world. I hope you can all continue to be a light in these dark times — more light and great times are ahead. Thank you and stay safe!”Chung is expecting his second child. He has a son with asthma, and he lives with his 75-year-old father.”Of course, it’s a tough decision. You want to play football,” Chung said during an interview with CBS This Morning. “I’m in the latter end of my career, so I wanted to play football. But when it comes down to it, I feel money is not that important (compared to) my family.”I just felt like this was the best decision for my family to keep everyone safe,” he added. “I don’t think it’s fair to them.”Running back Brandon Bolden, tackle Marcus Cannon, fullback Danny Vitale and offensive lineman Najee Toran are also choosing to sit out this season, ESPN reported.Cannon is a cancer survivor, which puts him in the high-risk category for COVID-19.Vitale cited family concerns for his reason to opt out. He and his wife just welcomed a baby into their family.NFL players who are considered high-risk for COVID-19 can earn $350,000 for an accrued season if they choose to opt out, according to the latest agreement approved by the league and the NFL Players Association. Players who are not at risk can earn $150,000 for opting out.Patriot veterans are scheduled to report to Gillette Stadium Tuesday for training camp. They’ll first have to take coronavirus tests before anything gets underway.The NFL has officially announced there will be no pre-season games this year.The season is set to begin in September.

Another New England Patriots player has decided to sit out the 2020 NFL season due to coronavirus concerns, according to reports.

Wide receiver Marqise Lee, who signed with New England in April, becomes the seventh member of the team to opt out of the upcoming season.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Lee became a first-time father in February and said protecting his newborn daughter, Alia, and his family was at the core of his decision.

Jim McBride, of the Boston Globe, was the first to report that the 28-year-old receiver was opting out of the season.

“This is a big sit-down process I had, with me and my significant other, as far as family goes. The risk factor in which we believe that’s going out there, it just wasn’t worth it in a sense. Just too many unknowns,” Lee told ESPN.com.

“We knew New England, honestly, had a great system in place. But I told Coach (Bill Belichick), at the end of the day, I wouldn’t be doing him justice going out there because I wouldn’t be able to give him my all knowing my family was back at the house worrying about their situation.”

Lee is the latest Patriots player to opt out of the 2020 season. No other NFL team has had more players opt out thus far, according to Reiss.

Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, a three-time Super Bowl champion, and safety Patrick Chung were among the first six players to opt out.

Hightower, who welcomed his first child earlier this month, was scheduled to make $8 million this year.

“This wasn’t an easy decision, or one I made lightly, but I do feel that it’s the best decision for my family at this time,” reads a statement from Hightower that was shared on social media. “I’m so grateful for the support of my teammates and coaches as well, and I will try to continue to lead and help as much as I can. 2020 has been a challenging year for our world. I hope you can all continue to be a light in these dark times — more light and great times are ahead. Thank you and stay safe!”

Chung is expecting his second child. He has a son with asthma, and he lives with his 75-year-old father.

“Of course, it’s a tough decision. You want to play football,” Chung said during an interview with CBS This Morning. “I’m in the latter end of my career, so I wanted to play football. But when it comes down to it, I feel money is not that important (compared to) my family.

“I just felt like this was the best decision for my family to keep everyone safe,” he added. “I don’t think it’s fair to them.”

Running back Brandon Bolden, tackle Marcus Cannon, fullback Danny Vitale and offensive lineman Najee Toran are also choosing to sit out this season, ESPN reported.

Cannon is a cancer survivor, which puts him in the high-risk category for COVID-19.

Vitale cited family concerns for his reason to opt out. He and his wife just welcomed a baby into their family.

NFL players who are considered high-risk for COVID-19 can earn $350,000 for an accrued season if they choose to opt out, according to the latest agreement approved by the league and the NFL Players Association. Players who are not at risk can earn $150,000 for opting out.

Patriot veterans are scheduled to report to Gillette Stadium Tuesday for training camp. They’ll first have to take coronavirus tests before anything gets underway.

The NFL has officially announced there will be no pre-season games this year.

The season is set to begin in September.

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