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Larry Warford opts out of 2020 season; Za’Darius Smith ranked among top 50 NFL players

Big news with two former Kentucky Wildcats.

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With NFL training camps opening this week, there’s been some big news with a pair of former Kentucky Wildcats.

The first is free agent guard Larry Warford, who has opted out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus.

The second is Packers defensive end Za’Darius Smith, who was named to the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2020 ranking, checking in at No. 48 overall.

Warford, who was entering his eighth NFL season, is currently a free agent after he was released by the Saints earlier this offseason.

NFL players are allowed to opt out of the upcoming season due to the coronavirus. The opt-out plan includes two levels for players who choose not to play in 2020.

Players deemed as high-risk can opt out and receive a $350,000 stipend and an accrued NFL season. Those players must have pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, sickle-cell disease, or diabetes.

Players not deemed as high-risk can opt out and receive a $150,000 advance on their 2021 salary. It’s unclear which designation applies to Warford.

Now 29 years old, Warford still likely has several good years of football left in him, so here’s to hoping we see him back in the NFL next year when things are hopefully a lot safer than they are right now.

As for Smith, he becomes the highest-ranked Wildcat in the history of the NFL Top 100 ranking, which dates back to 2011. He’s coming off a breakout season with the Packers, racking up 13.5 sacks after notching just 15.5 in his previous four seasons with the Ravens.

Smith was also recently tabbed the NFL’s best edge defender.

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