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The opt-outs included five of the NFL’s on-field referees and two replay officials, the NFL Network reported. The seven officials will effectively take a leave of absence from their roles for the next year.
The officials who voluntarily opted out will receive a $30,000 stipend. The NFL also guaranteed they would retain their jobs for the 2021 season.
The league’s opt-policy was unveiled earlier this month after the NFL and NFL Referees Association reached an agreement. The on-field officials who opted out were Jeff Bergman, Steve Freeman, Greg Gautreaux, Joe Larrew and Tony Steratore.
Game officials who participate this season and test positive for COVID-19 will receive benefits as if they sustained an injury at a league-required activity. The benefits include injury pay and coverage of medical expenses.
The NFL also allowed players to opt-out after reaching a similar deal with the NFL Players Association. Compensation was determined by whether the player’s opt-out was voluntary or the result of a high-risk medical condition.
Players with a high-risk condition received a stipend of $350,000, while players who opted out voluntarily received $150,000.