Bills' White decides to play in 2020
Tre'Davious White earlier had expressed reservations about returning to the field amid the pandemic.
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Tre’Davious White essentially gave everyone 24 hours of agita when he spoke to reporters on a Zoom call Wednesday afternoon.
It sounded then like he had deep reservations about playing football in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, fearing that he could infect his family which counts two young children.
But when push came to shove on Thursday, White decided he would take the risk to play for the Bills, great news for a team that has a chance to do big things and now can attempt to do so with one of its best players in tow.
Further, no other players chose to sit out, so the Bills will now move forward minus just two players who decided to opt out — defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and cornerback E.J. Gaines.
“No matter what, my family is gonna come first, no matter what's going on,” White said Wednesday. “No matter how big of a season, I'm always going to put my kids first.”
One thing that may have weighed in his decision to move forward is that the Bills seem to have put together smart and effective protocols in their building to help squash the chances of players, coaches or staff catching the virus there.
Of course, that doesn’t mean anyone is safe once they leave the premises, or that when they come back in they aren’t a carrier. But White must have been comfortable enough with what he was told by the team, and he actually made that point Wednesday that he is happy with how things are set up at One Bills Drive.
“Obviously we have some of the best people around the league caring for us and really caring for our well-being,” he said. “So, upstairs has been doing a great job.”
Unlike some teams, particularly the Patriots, who will not have several players, White’s opt-in was good news, provided the players remain dutiful when they are away from the team and no one puts everyone else at risk by ignoring the suggestions the Bills have provided.
Professional sports teams have already seen what can happen when the virus shut down the seasons of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals in Major League Baseball for a week.
In terms of money, White will count $3.2 million against the salary cap as scheduled. And unless the Bills can work out a contract extension before next season, he will play his fifth year with the team in 2021 at a cap cost of $10.2 million on the fifth-year option the Bills exercised previously.
Of course, with the cap expected to drop dramatically in 2021 thanks to all the lost revenue this season due to the pandemic, White’s contract will make it a little trickier for general manager Brandon Beane to get new deals in place with linebacker Matt Milano and offensive tackle Dion Dawkins.
However, that’s just bookkeeping which can always be massaged by making other roster moves. Most important in 2020, the Bills will have one of their best players on the field