Report: Buffalo Bills Defensive Tackle Star Lotulelei Opting Out Of 2020 NFL Season
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Utes and current Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei plans to opt-out of planning in the 2020 NFL season, according to multiple reports.
On July 24, the NFL and the players’ union agreed to allow players to choose if they wanted to play during the upcoming season amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press reported that players who want to sit out the opt-out “have until Aug. 3 to do so, and they will receive a stipend from the owners.”
“#Bills veteran DT Star Lotulelei will be taking a voluntary opt-out for this season, source says. The former first-rounder has $4.5 million fully guaranteed this season as well as $2.5 million fully guaranteed the following year. So those will push into 2021 and ‘22,” reported NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Lotulelei is the first NFL player with ties to the state of Utah to opt-out of playing this season. He is also the first member of the Bills to opt-out.
According to NFL.com, the Bills defender is the 15th player to voluntarily sit out the 2020 season.
Three other players have opted out due to higher risk and unspecified reasons.
“To be designated a voluntary opt-out, a player must be under contract or subject to a tender. The player’s contract will toll and all provisions of that contract for the tolled year will be applicable the following season; however, he will not receive an accrued season,” according to NFL.com. “The player will be eligible for a stipend of $150,000 to be treated as a salary advance against his tolled contract; an undrafted free agent, however, is not eligible for the stipend.”
Star Lotulelei’s NFL Career
Following his college career at the University of Utah, Lotulelei was selected with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
After his first season, Lotulelei was honored as a member of the PFWA All-Rookie Team.
In the 2015 season, he helped the Panthers reach the postseason, win the NFC Championship, and make it to Super Bowl 50.
After the 2017 season, Lotulelei signed with Buffalo.
Through his seven years in the NFL, he has recorded 177 total tackles, 105 solo tackles, 13.5 sacks, 32 tackles for loss, 27 quarterback hits, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception.
Lotulelei has played in 108 games, including 107 starts.
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