Baltimore Ravens wide receiver/returner De’Anthony Thomas voluntarily opted out on the 2020-21 season on Monday because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is believed that this was Thomas’ personal choice not to play and there were no pre-existing medical conditions that factored into the decision.
Thomas becomes the second NFL player to sit out this season. Thomas’ decision comes three days after Kansas City offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif chose to continue to work at a long-term care facility in Quebec to help fight the pandemic.
After being Baltimore’s primary returner last season, Thomas re-signed with the Ravens on March 14 on a one-year, $935,000 (only $25,000 guaranteed) contract but was considered on the bubble entering training camp. Rookie sixth-round pick James Proche is now the front-runner to become Baltimore’s punt returner.
Thomas, 27, will receive a $150,000 salary advance and was placed on Baltimore’s reserve list, which means he’ll remain under contract with the Ravens in 2021.
A fourth-round pick by the Chiefs in 2014, Thomas spent six seasons with Kansas City before being cut midway through last season. He was an average returner who didn’t make as many explosive plays as expected. Last season, Thomas tied for 15th with a 5.7-yard punt return average and ranked 18th with an 18.9-yard kickoff return average.