After learning the NFL could force teams to forfeit and also withhold pay if any game for the upcoming season is canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated personnel, Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins suggested via Twitter he could walk away from the NFL rather than receive one of the available vaccines.
Don’t worry, Cardinals fans. Hopkins would like you to know he isn’t going anywhere.
Hopkins joined the Cardinals via a trade from the Houston Texans in March 2020 and hinted he’d like to stay with Arizona through the end of his playing days:
Via a memo shared by multiple outlets, the NFL Players Association has backed the league’s protocols for the upcoming campaign. Meanwhile, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explained Hopkins would’ve owed the Cardinals $22 million in unearned signing bonus money had he elected to retire this summer.
The NFL and NFLPA aren’t mandating players be vaccinated against the coronavirus, but those who don’t receive the shots will have to live and work under strict guidelines similar to those enforced last year. Many of those protocols, such as wearing masks inside team facilities, can be ignored by immunized employees until further notice.