Devin Funchess on opting out: “Family is first”

Sport

Packers receiver Devin Funchess won’t play in 2020. He explained his decision in a Tuesday social-media post.

“Family is first,” Funchess said. “Always has been. Always will be. In such unpredictable times, it’s been one of the constants on my mind as I’ve worked through one of the toughest decisions of my life.

“My closest family members have experienced the life-threatening impact of COVID-19 first hand and for their own and my safety, I’ve decided to opt out of the upcoming NFL season. This was not a decision I took likely but it’s what is best for my family and myself at this time.

“I can’t thank the Packers organization enough for their understanding and for giving me the opportunity to be part of one of the most storied franchises in the league. I look forward to getting back to work with them next season.”

Funchess, a second-round pick of the Panthers in 2015, received a $1 million signing bonus on a one-year deal. His contract will toll to 2021, at a salary of $1.2 million.

As players make the excruciating choice to not play, their decisions should be respected. They’re giving up the ability to play and to get paid, and they’re assume the risk that, by the time they return next year, the organization may decide to stick with their replacements.