BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots will be looking to fill a big hole along the offensive line when training camp gets underway later this week. Starting right guard Marcus Cannon will be opting out of the 2020 season amid concerns over COVID-19, the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian reported late Monday night.
The 32-year-old Cannon likely falls under the NFL’s “high-risk” category, having battled Non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2011 prior to his NFL career. If he falls into that category, his opt out will come with a $350,000 stipend and he’ll receive credit for the 2020 season.
Cannon is New England’s longest tenured lineman, starting 50 games over the last four years and 69 of his 115 games overall since the Patriots drafted him in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
The loss of Cannon opens up a roster battle when camp gets underway, with second-year lineman Yodny Cajuste, Korey Cunningham and rookie Justin Herron likely competing for Cannon’s starting job. Cunningham has started seven games in his career — six for the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 and one for New England last season — while Cajuste and Herron have not yet suited up for an NFL game.
Cannon will be the third Patriots player to opt out of the 2020 season, along with fullback Danny Vitale and guard Najee Toran.