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New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower opts out of 2020 season

Dont'a Hightower has become one of the latest high profile players to opt out of the 2020 NFL season amid concerns over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The New England Patriots linebacker's decision comes following the birth of his son two weeks ago, according to the ESPN, while his mother also has Type 2 diabetes.

He becomes the fifth Patriots player to withdraw following on from right tackle Marcus Cannon, running back Brandon Bolden, offensive lineman Najee Toran and fullback Danny Vitale.

NFL Network's Around The NFL crew discuss how changes to pre-season, salary caps and more will affect the 2020 season

Hightower's voluntary opt-out is set to see him receive a $150,000 salary advance, while Cannon will receive $350,000 as a high-risk opt-out after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma before the 2011 NFL Draft.