Jets' C.J. Mosley Explains Opting Out of 2020 NFL Season over Concerns About Son

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2019, file photo, New York Jets inside linebacker C.J. Mosley gets ready for a play by the New England Patriots during the first half of an NFL football in East Rutherford, N.J. Mosley is feeling healthy and ready to be a force again in the middle of the Jets' defense. The star middle linebacker missed almost all of last year in his first season with his new team because of a groin/core muscle injury. But, Mosley has been given a good report from the doctors, and expects to have no limitations during training camp. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley called opting out of the 2020 NFL season the "biggest football decision I've made in a long time," per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

He later explained his biggest concern was the risk of spreading the coronavirus to his family.

"Because of COVID, my family is my support system with my son," Mosley said. "So, I didn't want to risk that obviously. But I think just looking at the big picture, for me, I want to make sure I'm mentally and physically the best person I can be so I can be that leader I know I can be."

The linebacker is one of two Jets players to opt out as of Tuesday, with offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi also sitting out the year.

It will especially be difficult to replace Mosley, who is a difference-maker when on the field. The 28-year-old earned four Pro Bowl selections in five years with the Baltimore Ravens and was named second-team All-Pro four different times.

He topped 100 tackles in all but one year in that stretch.

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This production earned him a five-year, $85 million deal with the Jets, although his first season with the new team was limited to just two games. After returning an interception for a touchdown in Week 1, he suffered a groin injury that kept him out most of the year.

New York will once again have to play without him for the entire 2020 season, likely relying on James Burgess, Neville Hewitt and Patrick Onwuasor to anchor the defense. Meanwhile, Mosley will get the chance to focus on returning to full strength in 2021.

"I'm out all year so I have all this time to mentally get better, physically get better, kind of re-adjust and kind of find that flame again," he said.