The Bears report to training camp in earnest this week, and tensions and uncertainty are running high. Amid concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, one important stalwart will not be in attendance.
Fifth-year nose tackle Eddie Goldman is opting out of the 2020 season, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. While now temporarily not in line with a lucrative contract signed last fall, Goldman’s decision coincides with medical apprehension. The 26-year-old has had issues with asthma in the past. A respiratory affliction like the coronavirus could only exacerbate such an issue. Due to that, Goldman has grounds for full medical exemption and should receive a $350,000 stipend for the fall. The $4.75 million salary he was set to receive this year becomes his salary for 2021.
Goldman is the first and highest-profile Bears player to elect to sit out so far thanks to COVID-19. But he’s not alone elsewhere. Several NFL standouts, such as the Patriots’ Dont’a Hightower, Patrick Chung, and Marcus Cannon have all also decided to forgo the league’s upcoming slate of games. The official deadline for any other Bears or players across the league to opt out of their contracts for COVID-19 reasons is this Saturday, August 1. The full list here should see at least a few more names added by then.
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