The Jets had three players opt-out of the 2020 NFL season; OL Leo Koloamatangi, WR Josh Doctson, and LB CJ Mosley. Opting out is self-explanatory – the players choose to skip the NFL season while forfeiting the majority of their contract (High-risk players receive a $350K stipend, while low-risk players receive a $150K salary advance).
Star LB C.J. Mosley, who missed all but two games in 2019 with a nagging groin injury, called opting out “probably the biggest football decision I’ve made in a long time.” While on a Facebook Live event Monday to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, the 28-year-old cited concern of bringing home the virus to his young son.
“That’s probably the biggest football decision I’ve made in a long time, probably since I picked what college I’m going to,” Mosley said. “That’s a book I got to start writing pretty soon. What’s the next step? Because there’s a lot of negative things people been saying as far as me not playing two years. And there’s a lot of positive things that are being said.
“I’m out all year so I have all this time to mentally get better, to physically get better, kind of readjust and kind of find that flame again.”
Offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi expressed similar concerns. The 26-year-old told the New York Times’ Ben Shpigel that contracting the virus was inevitable had he chosen to play.
“Where I play, I’m literally bear-hugging another creature on the other side of the ball every single play,” Koloamatangi told the Times. “If that guy has any symptoms, I’m going to get them.” He added, “For myself, I couldn’t take those chances.”
Koloamatangi has a nine-month-old daughter, Aurora, and a stepfather, Sele, who is a high-risk individual due to heart problems. He doesn’t want to bring home a virus that killed two relatives and infected another.
The final Jet to opt-out of the 2020 season was WR Josh Doctson. Doctson, who signed with the Jets during the offseason, will spend time on a humanitarian mission to Rwanda rather than play football.
“When my health and the public health of those around me are uncertain, I would rather risk it by actively helping in a community that I feel could use me most,” Doctson wrote in an Instagram post. “Choosing football would be a selfish desire of mine right now when I feel God has chosen me for something much bigger– something that could help families that are struggling or just in need.”
Doctson was expected to compete for a roster spot during training camp to help the Jets–instead, he’ll help a country bounce back from a pandemic.