As Bears players arrive Tuesday for training camp, one mainstay won’t be with them.
Starting defensive lineman Eddie Goldman informed the team that he will opt out of the 2020 season, NFL Network reported. The league and players’ union agreed to allow any player concerned about coronavirus to sit out the season.
It’s a huge blow to the Bears’ defensive line — especially against the run. Goldman has been a key part of the team ranking top-10 in run defense the last two seasons.
The Bears drafted him No. 39 overall in 2015, and he has started 67 games in five years. He had 29 tackles, including two for loss, and played 44 percent of the defensive snaps last season.
Players who opt out must inform the team in writing. Their decision is irrevocable.
If Goldman qualifies as a high-risk player, as defined by an agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association, he’ll make $350,000 and receive credit for an accrued season. If not, he’ll make $150,000 with no accrual.
The Bears should receive a $4.85 million salary cap credit, per OverTheCap.com. That would allow them to pursue a veteran replacement, though the defensive line was probably the team’s deepest position.