The New England Patriots will be looking to fill a big hole along the offensive line when training camp gets underway later this week. Starting right guard Marcus Cannon will be opting out of the 2020 season
The 32-year-old tackle was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma shortly before the 2011 draft, missing the first half of his rookie season while receiving treatment. As a cancer survivor, Cannon would be a high-risk candidate to receive a $350,000 stipend with no offset and an accrued/credited season with his contract tolling.
Set to enter his 10th season, Cannon became a spot starter in 2013 and has manned the right tackle spot full time since 2016, and for the Pats’ past two Super Bowls. He started 15 games in 2019.
The veteran is the fifth Patriots player expected to opt-out of the 2020 season, joining linebacker Dont’a Hightower, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Danny Vitale and guard Najee Toran.
His absence will be a blow to the Pats O-line, but Cannon’s concerns as a cancer survivor are understandable.
Yodny Cajuste, a 2019 third-round pick, is a candidate to replace Cannon at right tackle. Backup Korey Cunningham and sixth-round rookie Justin Herron are also options.
While the Pats break in new offensive line coaches in Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo, Cannon’s absence throws another curveball into the equation as training camp begins.
Rapoport later reported Bears DT Eddie Goldman, Texans DT Eddie Vanderdoes, Broncos DT Kyle Peko, Cowboys WR Stephen Guidry, and another OL in Baltimore’s Andre Smith have also decided to opt-out, per sources informed of the situation. Smith joins receiver/return specialist De’Anthony Thomas, on the list of Ravens players who will not play in 2020.
Cannon is expected to become the third Patriot to opt out of the 2020 season, following fullback Danny Vitale and offensive guard Najee Toran earlier on Monday.
His departure will be a significant blow to the Pats’ offensive line, which is in shorty supply of proven tackle depth.
After starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn, the list includes Korey Cunningham, Yodny Cajuste, a 2019 draft pick who spent last year on injured reserve, and 2020 sixth-round pick Justin Herron.
While Cunningham has a bit of experience at tackle (seven NFL game appearances), Cajuste and Herron have none. The only other lineman with notable experience at tackle is starting left guard Joe Thuney, who is a career guard as a pro.
The Pats could also acquire a tackle via trade or sign one off the street, as they did last season with Marshall Newhouse after Cannon went down in Week 1.
Patriots offensive line coaches Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo figure to now have their hands full sorting out the starting line, as they replace legendary assistant Dante Scarnecchia.
Ravens KR De’Anthony Thomas latest player to opt out of season
Baltimore Ravens kick returner/wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas will opt out of the 2020 season.
The team announced Thomas has taken a voluntary opt-out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that players who voluntarily opt-out of the season will receive a $150,000 salary advance and their contract will toll. Thomas becomes the latest player to opt-out, joining Kansas City Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to opt-out, announcing his decision Friday night.
Seattle Seahawks guard Chance Warmack, who had sat out last season before signing with Seattle, and Cowboys cornerback Maurice Canady also are electing to voluntarily opt-out of the 2020 season, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Canady appeared in 13 games with three starts last season while splitting time between the Jets and Ravens.
Pelissero also reports that Patriots fullback Danny Vitale is the league’s fifth player to voluntarily opt-out.
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