Back in the middle of March, the NFL season was still so far away that it was hard to imagine it being impacted the way that other sports were. Here we sit though, just a few days from August, and the league has coronavirus protocols in place as a result of the massive unknown that we are all still battling against.
One of the key details of how the NFL is handling things is the opt-outs that the NFLPA petitioned for during negotiations last week. Monday brought the first Cowboys player to take a voluntary opt out in Maurice Canady, and there is now a second.
Rookie wide receiver Stephen Guidry is opting out of the 2020 NFL season
The Dallas Cowboys have what is arguably the best wide receiver group in the National Football League, and while it is no doubt extremely talented, the end of the depth chart does feature some room for challengers.
Part of the reason that Dallas has a great group of receivers is one of their rookies is CeeDee Lamb. While the Cowboys took Lamb in the first round, they obviously added more rookies by way of other picks and as undrafted free agents, and one of those UDFAs is wide receiver Stephen Guidry out of Mississippi State. He is opting out of the 2020 NFL season.
A second player has told the Cowboys he intends to opt out of this season. WR Stephen Guidry, an undrafted rookie out of Mississippi State, has elected not to compete for a roster spot.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) July 28, 2020
Veteran CB Maurice Canady has also informed the club he won’t play this season.
While the Cowboys have certainly had their fair share of noteworthy UDFAs, it is unlikely that Stephen Guidry was going to make the team’s final roster. He might have had a larger shot in normal times, but with no preseason football as an extra platform to show his skills, his odds were definitely not great.
This week has already featured players across the NFL sharing their intention to opt out, the most notable of which are Marcus Cannon and Dont’a Hightower from the New England Patriots. Veterans are scheduled to report to training camp on Tuesday so we will likely have more answers across the league soon.
Update: 12:05pm ET
For clarity’s sake, according to NFL Network the undrafted rookies that take the voluntary opt out are not eligible for the $150,000 advance.
More opt-outs: #Saints veteran TE Cole Wick and #Titans undrafted rookie OL Anthony McKinney are opting out of the 2020 season, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 28, 2020
Worth noting: Undrafted rookies who take the voluntary opt-out aren’t eligible for the $150,000 salary advance.