DENVER -- After weighing several factors over the last few days, Broncos defensive lineman Kyle Peko has opted out of the 2020 season.
Peko, expected to compete for a backup job, is the first Denver player to choose against playing this season. For Peko, like with several other players making the decision, it was personal. Peko is married with two young children and his wife is a cancer survivor.
General manager John Elway said he supported Peko's decision. Elway has heard that "rumblings that a couple more" players could opt out, but nothing concrete as of Tuesday afternoon.
Peko no longer counts against the roster, leaving the Broncos with 81 players after on Monday releasing defensive end Joel Heath and waiving running back Khalfani Muhammad, linebacker Tre' Crawford, quarterback Riley Neal, receiver Kelvin McKnight, offensive lineman Nico Falah and defensive backs Kahani Smith and Shakial Taylor.
Several players around the league have elected to skip the season, including Patriots star linebacker Dont'a Hightower, one of five New England players to opt out, and Bears standout defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, per NFL Network.
In the agreement worked out between the NFLPA and owners, players were given this option. A player choosing to opt out receives a $150,000 stipend. A player deemed at high risk due to medical factors receives a $350,000 stipend.
Tuesday, the NFLPA posted the latest data in COVID-19 testing. Per the results, 107 players tested positive during the offseason and a total of 21 players have tested positive since reporting for training camp.