Report: Russell Okung Weighing Retirement Due To COVID-19 Concerns


Carolina Panthers left tackle Russell Okung is reportedly deciding whether to retire due to COVID-19 concerns, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

The NFL's opt-out deadline for players to bypass the 2020 season was on Thursday and Okung, who missed 10 games in 2019 due to a pulmonary embolism due to blood cots, is now apparently deciding to hang it up for good.

The 31-year-old two-time Pro Bowler is "comfortable walking away from the game if he feels the football environment is not safe."

Okung was traded by the Los Angeles Chargers to Carolina in February for left guard Trai Turner and has one year left on a four-year, $53 million contract.

If Okung opts out, ESPN says the Panthers could pursue his $2.5 million in signing bonus proration but the Chargers paid a $10 million bonus upon signing his deal in 2017, and he hasn't played a down for Carolina.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule just told reporters on Friday that he feels the environment at Bank of America is "socially distanced" and that the team is "taking it (COVID-19) so seriously."