Patriots lead league in opt-outs, but why Thursday's deadline doesn't really matter

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Thursday at 4 p.m. was the deadline for NFL players to opt out of the 2020 season.

Only a few decided Thursday to opt out, but there were no Patriots. They finished with eight, the most in the entire NFL. To recap, those players were: Dont'a Hightower, Patrick Chung, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Matt LaCosse, Danny Vitale, Marqise Lee and Najee Toran.

While the deadline has passed, it really doesn't mean anything, as players can opt out at any time.

Former Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins echoed what Devin McCourty said earlier in the week.

"We need more time," Collins said. "There's still going to be problems down the road and if the virus affects someone close to them, they'll want to opt out. Deadline day won't mean anything."

Players who opt out later won't get the $150,000 or $350,000, but that likely won't matter to most players who have already made millions over the course of their careers.

Patriots players have had a few days of strength and conditioning work on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.