The Cleveland Browns announced that offensive guard Drew Forbes and tackle Drake Dorbeck were placed on the reserve/opt-out list on Wednesday, thinning out the depth on the offensive line.
Forbes joined the Browns as a sixth-round pick in 2019 and appeared in one game last season. Dorbeck is an undrafted free agent out of Southern Mississippi. The team said in a release that any player may opt out of participating in the 2020 NFL season for any reason. The player must provide the club with written notice of his election to opt out. Once given, the notice will be irrevocable for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Per cleveland.com, players who opt out for approved medical reasons receive a $350,000 stipend for 2020 and their contract tolls until next season. Players who opt out for other coronavirus concerns receive a $150,000 stipend for the season, except for undrafted rookies, which Dorbeck would fall under.
“The NFL and the NFLPA have utilized the CDC criteria for the high-risk category – players that may have a chronic disease, may have a family member with a chronic disease or may have another type of issue that may put them at risk for the season,” Browns team physician Dr. James Voos said on a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday. “We have established those criteria to guide the players to make those best-informed decisions for them and their family. Then, it is a conversation with their physicians, with our healthcare team and ultimately with the Browns leadership as to what the best decision is they make for themselves and their family, but there have been very well-defined criteria that have been guided by the CDC to allow us to make those decisions.”
In another move, the Browns placed tight end Pharoah Brown was placed on the active/Physically Unable to Perform list.
Chad Thomas Expresses Concern Over Coronavirus
While he did not opt out, Browns defensive end Chad Thomas sent a strong message on social media on Tuesday after arriving at camp.
“Being at high risk because of complications [I’ve] had since a shorty, watching close friends lose parents and family members,” Thomas wrote on Twitter. “I can honestly say this shit is scary and on my mind everyday. I pray y’all taking the right precautions for us to play. Im actually missing funerals.”
Many Players Already Opting Out Around the League
Around 30 players have already opted out of the season, including six Patriots players. Here is the list as of Wednesday afternoon, per NFL.com:
Baltimore Ravens: KR De’Anthony Thomas, OL Andre Smith
Buffalo Bills: DT Star Lotulelei
Dallas Cowboys: CB Maurice Canady, WR Stephen Guidry
Green Bay Packers: WR Devin Funchess
Houston Texans: DT Eddie Vanderdoes
Kansas City Chiefs: OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
New England Patriots: LB Dont’a Hightower, FB Dan Vitale, RB Brandon Bolden, OL Najee Toran
Seattle Seahawks: OL Chance Warmack
Tennessee Titans: OL Anthony McKinney
HIGHER RISK OPT-OUTS
Minnesota Vikings: DT Michael Pierce
New England Patriots: OL Marcus Cannon
Washington Football Team: DE Caleb Brantley
Carolina Panthers: LB Jordan Mack
Chicago Bears: DT Eddie Goldman
Cleveland Browns: G Drew Forbes, T Drake Dorbeck
Denver Broncos: DT Kyle Peko
Kansas City Chiefs: RB Damien Williams
New England Patriots: S Patrick Chung
New Orleans Saints: TE Jason Vander Laan, TE Cole Wick
New York Giants: OL Nate Solder
New York Jets: OL Leo Koloamatangi