Thursday’s deadline passed with no additional Ravens players opting out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic as a total of 66 NFL players have opted out.
Return specialist De’Anthony Thomas and offensive tackle Andre Smith elected not to play early last week, instead taking a $150,000 advance on their one-year non-guaranteed contracts that now roll over to the 2021 season. Any player with a medical opt-out will receive a $350,000 stipend. Should a player voluntarily choose not to play from this point forward, he won’t receive financial compensation for the 2020 season.
As of last week, head coach John Harbaugh said he wasn’t aware of any other Ravens players who were considering opting out.
“I think that’s a very personal type of a choice,” Harbaugh said. “If a guy wants to talk to me about it, I’m happy to talk to him, but I do think it’s such a personal choice. I don’t really know how much you can add from the outside to that decision.”
As for the rest of the AFC North, Pittsburgh didn’t have any opt-outs, Cincinnati had two (offensive tackle Isaiah Prince and defensive tackle Josh Tupou), and Cleveland had five (defensive tackle Andrew Billings, offensive tackle Drake Dorbeck, and guards Drew Forbes, Colby Gossett, and Malcolm Pridgeon). New England led the league with eight players electing to skip the season, further magnifying the free-agent departures of six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and other key veterans this offseason.
In other Ravens roster news, undrafted rookie tight end Jake Breeland cleared waivers and reverted to the reserve non-football injury list. The Oregon product will not play in 2020 as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered last fall, but he’ll remain part of the organization.
With Breeland not in the running for the No. 3 tight end job behind 2019 Pro Bowl selection Mark Andrews and top blocker Nick Boyle, the Ravens signed veteran Jerell Adams earlier this week to compete with undrafted rookie Eli Wolf and 2019 practice-squad member Charles Scarff.
On Thursday, the Ravens released their 2020 training camp schedule with the first full-team practice taking place on Aug. 17. Two of their 17 training camp practices will be conducted at M&T Bank Stadium, but fans will not be permitted to attend any practices in Owings Mills or at the stadium this summer due to the pandemic.
The 80-man preseason roster must be trimmed to 53 for the start of the regular season by Saturday, Sept. 5. The Ravens are set to kick off their 25th season in Baltimore when they host Cleveland on Sept. 13.