The New England Patriots were rocked the hardest of any team in the NFL as it pertains to COVID-19 opt-outs. Now it’s been predicted one of the biggest names from that list may call it a career.
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Patriots Salary Cap Expert Marcus Cannon
Miguel Bezan aka Pats Cap is an expert when it comes to NFL financials with a specific focus on the Patriots. He monitors the Patriots cap situation 365 days of the year and keeps his followers updated on the details.
He has said multiple times and reiterated it again this weekend, he expects veteran offensive tackle Marcus Cannon to retire after this season.
Yes, I still expect Marcus Cannon to retire https://t.co/xJbXZivV4v
— Cap Space = $21,431,436 (@patscap) November 21, 2020
Cannon was one of eight Patriots to opt-out of the season due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Cannon, who is 32 years old, has already been a part of three Super-Bowl-winning teams, and he’s a cancer survivor, which likely played a role in his decision to opt-out of the season.
Because of his age, experience, success, and medical history, Cannon’s retirement isn’t a crazy thought.
How Did Cannon Perform in 2019?
Cannon’s play appeared to be on a decline dating back to the 2016 season when he was the sixth-highest-rated offensive tackle in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. That rating dipped to 22nd in 2017, 28th in 2018, and all the way down to 36th last season.
All things considered, the signs are all there. The pandemic may have just been the final push out the door Cannon needed to hang up the cleats.
Who is Cannon’s Long-Term Replacement?
Jermaine Eluemunor began the season as the starting right tackle, but he ultimately gave way to sensational rookie Michael Onwenu. Eluemunor was playing well before he went down with an injury, but now with the emergence of Onwenu, who is a top-five guard in the NFL, it’s going to be hard for the Patriots to get the rookie off the field.
Adam Weinrib of MusketFire.com wrote this assessment of the Patriots’ draft-day steal:
It’s been tough to defend the team’s drafting this season in particular since the lack of depth has been so glaring in all facets. The offense has been led by UDFAs like Jakobi Meyers, and high-profile defenders (supposedly) like Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings have barely cracked the rotation. The Onwenu pick doesn’t show up on the highlight reels (unless you’re looking extremely hard and are a very pedantic person!), but the Patriots have secured the services of one of the top five guards in the game, and the maneuver was about as unheralded as it gets.
Even if Cannon did want to return, there is a chance the Patriots might even release him so that he could pursue a starting spot with another team. There’s also the chance Onwenu moves back to guard to replace Joe Thuney, who is all but assured to move on in the offseason.
In any case, Cannon’s return seems like a longshot.
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