New Orleans Saints coaches show dedication, with none opting out of the season
By Bob Garcia
While NFL teams watch as players and staffers decide to sit out, the Saints are staying strong
All NFL players – except for the one who chose to opt-out – are already working hard at training camps in preparation for this year’s NFL season that will start amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the midst of uncertain times, the league and player’s union agreed that those who are not comfortable with playing under the risk of getting sick have the option to opt-out from participating in this season. The New Orleans Saints had two players take advantage of this offer; however, the entire coaching staff has decided to stay, according to what head coach Sean Payton said on Wednesday.
The situation with staff working for teams is that they don’t have their own union; therefore, if any member of the Saints’ staff wanted to skip the season, he or she would be required to negotiate this matter directly with the team’s leaders. “As far as I know, … there hasn’t been anybody that has decided to sit out up ’til this point,” said Payton. The only two players who refrained from participating – as part of the deal they will receive a salary of $150,000 – were tight ends Cole Wick and Jason Vander Laan. They made this decision last week, but there is time until today at 4 PM if any other player or staff member wants to take a similar path.
This year’s season will be the 101st for the NFL. The first game is scheduled to take place on September 10 when the defending Super Bowl LIV champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, will host a game against the Houston Texans as part of the AFC Divisional Round. There are still some concerns about this season due to the effects of the pandemic, especially when determining if fans will be able to attend games at the teams’ venues and what safety measures need to take place for this to be possible.