Baltimore Ravens: 2 Players Opted Out
Last season, the Baltimore Ravens won the AFC North with a record of 14-2. After four weeks, it would have been hard to predict they would have posted such as season since they were just 2-2 and were handed a lopsided defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns.
However, they then turned it up a notch and reeled off a dozen wins in a row. In the process, quarterback Lamar Jackson won the NFL MVP Award for his work. Now looking ahead to 2020, the Ravens are favorites in the division again and will be near full strength as they lost just two players before Thursday’s opt-out deadline.
De’Anthony Thomas, kick returner/wide receiver
De’Anthony Thomas was famous when he was a teenager due to his connection to Snoop Dogg. Thomas was a star in his youth football league and took his talents to the pacific northwest to play for the Oregon Ducks. Later, he was a fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Thomas never really stood out as a receiver, but his speed in the return game was always impressive. He spent six seasons with the Chiefs before being released last October. Thomas finished the year as a return man for the Ravens — averaging 7.2 yards on punt returns and 16.6 on kickoff returns.
In all honesty, he wasn’t guaranteed a spot on the roster in 2020 so this isn’t a massive blow to the team.
Andre Smith, Offensive Tackle
The No. 6 overall pick in 2009 out of Alabama, Andre Smith has started 98 out of 116 career games. He was with the Cincinnati Bengals until 2016 when he signed with the Minnesota Vikings. He spent one year there before returning to the Bengals in 2017. Then in 2018, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals but found his way back to the Bengals for the third time.
Smith was waived in November of 2019 and added to the Baltimore Ravens roster. His departure will be harder to deal with than De’Anthony Thomas since Smith played an important role — swing tackle. Sure, there’s a chance they would never need him but their tackle depth is in question now and an injury to Ronnie Stanley or Orlando Brown could be hard to overcome now.