How the Ravens Opt-Outs Compare to AFC North Rivals

Left: OT Andre Smith; Right; WR De'Anthony Thomas

The Ravens were among the NFL teams least impacted by players opting out of the 2020 season.

A total of 67 players opted out due to the COVID-19 pandemic by Thursday's deadline, and only two Ravens opted out – offensive tackle Andre Smith and returner/wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas. Neither Smith nor Thomas were guaranteed to make the 53-man roster. Smith would have likely been a backup offensive tackle had he made the team, while Thomas would have competed for the returner job.

Ten teams had at least three players who opted out. The New England Patriots led the league with eight players opting out, including starting linebacker Dont'a Hightower, starting right tackle Marcus Cannon starting safety Patrick Chung.

The Cleveland Browns had five players opt out which led the AFC North. Four of Cleveland's players who opted out were backup offensive linemen – Colby Gossett, Drew Forbes, Drake Dorbeck and Malcolm Pridgeon - while backup defensive tackle Andrew Billings also opted out. The departures left Cleveland thin at the backup guard position behind starters Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller.

Among other AFC North teams, the Cincinnati Bengals had two players opt out, offensive tackle Isaiah Prince and defensive tackle Josh Tupou. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the lone AFC North team that did not have a player opt out.

Under an agreement reached between the league and the NFLPA, players may still opt out later if one of the following applies:

  • A player gets a new diagnosis that he has a high-risk condition.
  • A player's family member is hospitalized or dies due to a COVID-19 related condition.

Players considered high risk for COVID-19 earn $350,000 up front from next year's salary and an accrued NFL season if they opt out. Players who are not high risk earn $150,000.

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