Thus far, Vitale is the fifth overall player to opt out. He follows Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Ravens wideout De’Anthony Thomas, Seahawks guard Chance Warmack and Cowboys cornerback Maurice Canady.
Vitale has played four NFL seasons — two with the Browns, two with the Packers — and signed with the Pats this offseason. The Patriots lost longtime fullback James Develin to retirement earlier this offseason.
Vitale played 170 snaps last season with Green Bay, catching 12 passes for 97 yards. His one-year Patriots contract will toll to 2021. Since he is not believed to be at increased risk for COVID-19 complications, Vitale is set to receive a $150K stipend — rather than his $1MM base salary — and see his contract toll to 2021.