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Patriots Free Agent Signing Reportedly Opting Out Of Season

An interior view of Gillette Stadium during a Patriots game.

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 13: The New England Patriots run out on the field before the game against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

New England Patriots fullback Danny Vitale is reportedly opting out of the 2020 season.

The Patriots signed Vitale to a one-year deal worth approximately $1.3-million this off-season. A Northwestern alum, Vitale spent his first two years in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns before spending the last two with the Green Bay Packers.

Vitale hasn't been a major weapon in either the rushing or passing attack for the teams he played for. He would've likely provided additional pass protection for Cam Newton and the Patriots' offense this upcoming season.

Instead, Vitale will sit this season out in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL fullback and his wife, Caley, just became parents to a newborn baby.

This isn't a big loss for the New England Patriots on paper, though the team does traditionally make good use of its fullbacks. It does go to show how concerned players are about the global pandemic - especially if they're a parent. This next week will be very telling regarding the amount of players that choose to opt out of playing this season.

The New England Patriots are entering a new era of their organization. Tom Brady has been New England's face of the franchise for two decades. Now, the reins are being handed over to former NFL MVP Cam Newton.

Newton's play has declined over the past few years due to injuries and poor roster management in Carolina. It'll be interesting to see how he performs in New England.