Carolina Panthers, NCAA Football

Panthers’ Christian Miller becomes 5th Alabama alumnus to opt out of NFL season

Christian Miller is the fifth Alabama alumnus to sit out the 2020 NFL season.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to over 40 players opting out of the 2020 season and out of the 43 players to have opted out so far, five of them played college football at Alabama. Alabama has churned out NFL players left and right since Nick Saban took over.

Christian Miller, a fourth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2019 NFL Draft, is the latest Crimson Tide alum to have made the decision not to play in 2020. Miller, a fourth round pick by the Panthers in last year’s draft, played in seven games and recorded two sacks during his rookie season.

Christian Miller explains his decision to opt-out of NFL season.

“After a lot of thought and prayer, I have decided to high-risk opt-out,” Miller said in a statement shared on the Panthers website. “This was an emotional and extremely tough decision for me but one that I ultimately feel is the right and safest decision for me and my family. I am proud to be a Panther, and I am genuinely excited about the direction we are going under Coach Rhule and his staff. I wish the entire organization nothing but the best for 2020, and I can’t wait to rejoin them again in 2021. #KeepPounding”

Miller is considered a high-risk opt-out and as such will receive $350,000 and an accrued NFL season. High-risk opt-outs are for players who have pre-existing conditions and would be more likely to be in danger should they test positive for the coronavirus.

Miller would have more than likely been a backup for the Panthers in 2020, but he was a nice depth piece and especially for a rebuilding Carolina team, but no one will fault him for not wanting to play in 2020.

The other four former Alabama products to make the decision to not play this year are Dont’a Hightower of New England, C.J. Mosley of the Jets, Andre Smith of Baltimore, and Chance Warmack of Seattle. All four of these names were first round picks in their respective drafts and Hightower is the only one who still remains with the team who drafted him in the first round.

Out of those names, Hightower and Mosley are the biggest to not suit up this season and Hightower is one of eight Patriots to opt-out already.

Players will continue to pull themselves from the 2020 season due to the concerns of the coronavirus and it’s good to see players making the choice that is in their best interest.

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