There are a few teams impacted more by player opt outs this season than the Baltimore Ravens.
The Baltimore Ravens have had two players opt out for the 2020 season due to concerns of COVID-19. Those two players are DeAnthony Thomas and Andre Smith. Essentially the Ravens are losing an average punt returner and a backup offensive tackle. With the Ravens needing to get down to an 80 man roster these opt outs almost helped.
The New England Patriots are in a different situation. Most notably of the Patriots’ seven opt outs is Dont’a Hightower and Marcus Cannon. That’s their starting linebacker and their starting right tackle. According to reports Patrick Chung, Branden Bolden, Danny Vitale and Najee Toran and Marquise Lee have also opted out.
The New York Jets C.J. Mosley has opted out. This means that the former Ravens linebacker, who the Ravens tried to re-sign, will go into 2021 only having played two games for the Jets. The Kansas City Chiefs have two opt outs including Damien Williams. (On a side note, Clyde Edwards Helaire may be fantasy football’s top rookie).
The Minnesota Vikings will have to go without Michael Pierce, who has opted out. This could impact the comp pick formula for the Ravens.
If the Ravens can get to the regular season with just these two opt outs, that would be a win. The Ravens may have cut De’Anthony Thomas anyway. It’s not a secret around Ebony Bird, that we think James Proche will end up taking that job. Losing Andre Smith isn’t a huge deal, but it gives Baltimore even less offensive tackle depth.
The Ravens really haven’t lost an overly important component of their team to the opt outs. The fact of the matter is that while other teams have big problems dropped on them by player opt outs, the purple and black are sitting pretty. They don’t have to replace starters. They haven’t lost anybody who isn’t replaceable. It’s not like the Ravens lost Mark Andrews or Marlon Humphrey for the season.
This is a big deal for a Ravens team that is seen as a Super Bowl contender coming into the season. The Ravens are supposed to be one of the best teams in the NFL. Any bad news for the Ravens is good news for the rest of the AFC, specifically for the AFC North, Good news for the Ravens on the other hand isn’t a welcome sight for the rest of the league.
The Bottom Line:
The bottom line is that the Baltimore Ravens have it easy so far with player opt outs. If that doesn’t change it’s just another advantage they have for the 2020 season. With all the unknowns going into the season in the time of global pandemic, keeping the core players in tact is important.
This season will be a weird one. There will be a lot of new factors because of the pandemic, Uncertainty is coming one way or another. So far though opt outs haven’t been a big problem in Baltimore.