Patriots Players Are Dropping Out in Droves

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It has been a wild journey following the timeline of Adam Schefter this morning, as one New England Patriot after another is dropping out of the NFL season. The list now stands as follows:

  • Dont’a Hightower (LB)
  • Danny Vitale (FB)
  • Brandon Bolden (RB)
  • Najee Toran (OG)
  • Marcus Cannon (OT)

The most notable of these is Hightower, who was due to make $8 million this season but says he is dropping out because he and his wife just had a baby this month. Cannon is also a stalwart — he’s been a protector on the offensive line since 2011.

It remains to be seen how prevalent this will be across the NFL, but it is certainly worth monitoring. You can’t think it’s a coincidence that it came the day after it was revealed that a bunch of Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus.

This is all going to spell a further challenge for Bill Belichick and Cam Newton, both of whom have a lot to prove this season — Belichick is aiming to prove that he can continue to thrive without Tom Brady, while Newton must prove to the world that he is still a starting caliber quarterback. It’ll be interesting to watch play out.

UPDATE: Patrick Chung has dropped out too, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. They have their right if they don’t want to play. But I does beg the question. Do they read the data? Are the genuinely concerned about getting covid? Or are they using it as a cop out to sit for a year in their million dollar lifestyle.

  2. What is hard to understand is that this is one year that is lost forever and they can never get back. Their careers are limited from age 22 to age 30 maybe a little more maybe a little less. That’s a lot to sacrifice.

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