The Miami Dolphins will have at least one player who will not play during the 2020 NFL season due to coronavirus concerns.
Dolphins receiver Allen Hurns, a former University of Miami standout, announced Tuesday he will not play while his family awaits the birth of his son.
Hurns, who became the first Dolphins player or coach to opt out, will earn a $150,000 stipend instead of $1.8 million in base salary with a $37,500 per game roster bonus this season.
“Definitely wasn’t an easy decision, but I’ve decided to opt out the 2020 season to do what’s best for my family and I especially with a baby boy on the way,” Hurns wrote in a post on Twitter.
“I will continue to support my team and brothers across the league wholeheartedly and wishing them the best going forward this season.”
Hurns was a veteran expected to make the Dolphins roster despite being in a loaded receiver group, which features DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant.
Hurns signed a two-year, $8 million contract extension with the Dolphins last November that includes $3.27 million guaranteed. He received $2 million from the team as a signing bonus.
If Hurns makes the Dolphins roster next season, he will not have to re-pay the $150,000 stipend.
Hurns, who is under contract through next season, could now be kept by the team through the 2022 season since this season will not count toward his current deal.
Without Hurns, Dolphins receivers who were with the team last season like Isaiah Ford, Gary Jennings and Mack Hollins, and undrafted newcomers like Kirk Merritt and Matt Cole could earn a position on the roster this season.
“I understand and completely support Allen’s decision,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said in a statement. “It wasn’t an easy choice and I know he put a lot of thought into it. He had conversations with the people closest to him and did what he felt was best for him and his family.
“I respect the process he went through and how he came to this decision,” Flores added. “I wish him all the best and look forward to working with him next year.”
Hurns had 32 receptions for 416 yards and two touchdowns, and made seven starts in his first season with the Dolphins a year ago. His best NFL season was in 2015 when he caught 10 touchdowns with 1,031 receiving yards for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Hurns went undrafted after four years at UM, where he caught 121 passes for 1,891 yards and 14 touchdowns from 2010-13.
Now, Hurns will turn his attention toward his family as NFL players decide this week whether to play or not play this season due to COVID-19 concerns. The deadline for players to opt out of the season is Thursday.
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