The New England Patriots’ safety group saw some considerable turnover during the 2020 offseason: gone is long-time third option Duron Harmon, Kyle Dugger was drafted in the second round, and veterans Adrian Phillips and Cody Davis were added in free agency. Now, according to a report by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, additional change is coming to the position,
Patrick Chung has elected to opt out of the 2020 season.
The 32-year-old becomes the sixth member of the Patriots to use the opt-out that was embedded into the NFL-NFLPA Coronavirus deal — and the third starter after linebacker Dont’a Hightower and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon. Running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Danny Vitale and guard Najee Toran have also decided to go the same route and sit out the 2020 campaign over concerns stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic.
Chung’s decision to voluntary opt out and in turn pick up a $150,000 stipend is not necessarily a surprising one. While he agreed to add two more years to his current contract and stay under contract with the Patriots through the 2023 season earlier this offseason, he has a baby on its way and also reportedly considered retiring from the game at one point earlier this year.
The Patriots will now likely turn to their offseason acquisitions to fill the void created by Chung’s opt-out. The aforementioned Adrian Phillips and Kyle Dugger appear to be the frontrunners to take over the starting spot opposite veteran Devin McCourty.