Bills CB Tre'Davious White unsure if he'll opt out as deadline looms

Tre’Davious White is coming off the best season in his career, one that vaulted him into the conversation of top corners in the NFL.

It’s great timing to be entering the fifth and final year of his rookie deal, and could be ideal for a new, lucrative contract agreed upon well before the threat of free agency becomes legitimate. But it’s also not the best timing because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the risks posed by the possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

White has had to attempt to reconcile these two realities while also preparing for an NFL season — one in which he says he might not participate.

“We’re just kind of just taking it down to the last day and we’re going to decide from there,” White said of his looming decision on participating, which will be made with his family’s input. “I’m still kind of undecided, honestly.”

White understandably wanted to enter the Bills facility and see firsthand how the agreed-upon health and safety protocols established by the NFL would be implemented. He’s gotten that opportunity, but he’s going to wait until just before Thursday’s opt-out deadline to decide if he’ll play in 2020 or decline in favor of being with his family during an unprecedented and uncertain time.

“Obviously, they’ve been doing a great job, but just the aspect of guys still testing positive, having false-positive tests then coming back and test negative, it’s just those things that psychologically plays a part in my thinking each and every day,” White explained. “Do I want to come in here and (possibly) get my 11-month-old baby sick, just coming home trying to love on him and picking him up, do I want to risk that? Because at the end of the day, no matter what, my family’s going to come first, no matter what’s going on.”

The sentiment related to positive tests isn’t exclusive to White. Browns center and NFLPA president JC Tretter spoke Wednesday of a need to continue daily testing beyond the initial two-week protocol in order to decrease the chance of the coronavirus spreading among NFL players who haven’t opted out of playing, yet still need protection from the union and the league.

Sitting out would toll White’s contract for a year, meaning the lucrative payday that most everyone expects for him wouldn’t come for some time. White opting out would essentially pause his career for close to a year, which would ideally preserve his health but also would delay that new deal.

White isn’t stressing over an increased income, though, because he said he’s been wise with his money. He knows the deal will come in due time, even if that doesn’t involve his participation in 2020.

“Whenever the time is right,” White said. “Whenever my agent and the Bills, when they get together, whenever the numbers are right and I feel comfortable for where it’s at and for what I feel I’m worth, then that’s when it’s going to be, but I’m not going to rush into anything or go into a premature thing because I’m not negotiating out of desperation, because I’m good. I’m good at managing my money, I’m good at doing the things that I need to do and being responsible with my finances, so I’m not hurting for money to jump at the first thing that’s going to be out there.

“I have a worth that’s out there, it’s a market out there for defensive backs and it’s only going up so I’ll see what happens.”

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