With the deadline to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season just one day away, the NFC West has been quiet in terms of number of players who’ve decided to sit this year out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entering Tuesday, Seattle Seahawks guard Chance Warmack was the only player in the division to opt out, but he’s since been joined by Travis Benjamin of the San Francisco 49ers and Marcus Gilbert of the Arizona Cardinals.
My statement on my decision to Opt Out of the 2020 NFL Season: pic.twitter.com/GFmdqS4Yiw— Marcus Gilbert (@MarcusGilbert88) August 4, 2020
As a high-risk player, Gilbert can receive a $350,000 stipend and an accrued NFL season, whereas Benjamin’s would be a $150,000 stipend but no accrued NFL season.
While listed as a wide receiver, Benjamin was primarily a return specialist for the Chargers and was expected to compete for a roster spot in San Francisco. Gilbert signed with the Cardinals in 2019 after seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was expected to start on the offensive line at the right tackle position, but tore his ACL just before the season began. Considering he ended 2018 on injured reserve, if he returns next season then it will have been close to three full years since he’s played a competitive snap.
The Los Angeles Rams are now the only team in the NFC West without an opt-out, but that could all change over the next 24 hours or so.