Dont’a Hightower Becomes 5th Patriots Player to Opt out of 2020 NFL Season A recent agreement between the NFL and the players' association states players can opt out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to ESPN, Hightower has chosen to sit out this season after having a baby two weeks ago. Dont'a Hightower, to NFL Network Other Patriots to be reportedly opting out of this season are Brandon Bolden, Najee Toran, Marcus Cannon and Danny Vitale. Patriots corner Jason McCourty also expressed concern about playing during the pandemic on his podcast, 'Double Coverage.' Jason McCourty, on 'Double Coverage' Jason McCourty, on 'Double Coverage' Jason McCourty, on 'Double Coverage' According to a recent NFLPA memo, players who engage in "high-risk" activities outside of the team could lose pay.