Spring 2021 Magazine

Eagles WR Marquise Goodwin at peace with opt out decision after faith talk with coach Doug Pederson

As it became increasingly clear a coronavirus vaccine would not be ready before the start of the NFL season, Philadelphia Eagles wideout Marquise Goodwin became more confident it was in his best interest to opt out.

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“It was very obvious,” Goodwin told Sports Illustrated this week. “I didn’t even have to think about it.”

Goodwin and his wife, Morgan, lost a prematurely born son in 2017, and unborn twin boys in 2018. They now have a healthy 5-month-old daughter named Marae, and Goodwin didn’t want to take any chances.

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I’m not the best example, but I’m trying. #GOODWINSZN

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Originally drafted in the third round by the Buffalo Bills in 2013, Goodwin spent four seasons with the team before signing with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. That season, he recorded career highs in receptions (56) and receiving yards (962).

San Francisco traded him to Philadelphia during the NFL draft this past April. And when Goodwin began telling people within the Eagles organization he was going to sit out the season, he received nothing but positive responses. His conversation with head coach Doug Pederson was particularly meaningful.

“My respect for [Pederson] went through the roof,” Goodwin told Sports Illustrated. “I always had great respect for him, because I’ve heard nothing but great things from players around the league who played for him. And when he mentioned God and his love for his family, and his love for the game, and his love for God, that really hit me hard. I’ll appreciate him forever.”

Christ-followers Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz were among the teammates who reached out and also offered their support to Goodwin.

“The guys who were consistently texting me and have been in my corner and helped me through this,” the former Texas Longhorn said. “It’s been a comforting time for me, because a decision that would be hard for a lot of people was really, really made easy for me because of the support I’ve had since I made that decision and went public with it.”

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