Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White is giving some thought to opting out of the 2020 season (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Kim Jones). The star of Buffalo’s secondary has until 4pm ET/3pm CT to submit his decision in writing.
Roughly 60 NFL players have opted out of the season so far, including notables like Patriots inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower and Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The Bills have already watched cornerback E.J. Gaines and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei opt out – losing White would be the most devastating of the bunch.
Arriving in the trade that gave the Chiefs Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 draft, White has become one of the NFL’s premier defenders. The 2017 No. 27 overall selection picked off a league-high six passes last season, giving him a dozen interceptions through three seasons.
In April, the Bills picked up White’s fifth-year option, cuffing him through 2021 on a ~$10MM salary. If White backs out of playing this year, his low-cost 2020 salary will toll into 2021. Then, his $10MM salary will apply to 2022. Ultimately, it would be an expensive move for White, one that would delay extension talks and put him another year further from free agency.
When it comes time for White to negotiate his new deal, he’ll likely command something in the neighborhood of Byron Jones‘ $16.5MM average annual value. Right now, he’s got bigger fish to fry, and he only has a few hours to make his big decision.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.