The Philadelphia Eagles escaped the opt-out deadline relatively unscathed with only wide receiver Marquise Goodwin opting out. This could ultimately be a blessing in disguise for Goodwin who has been struggling to stay healthy in recent years.
Other teams around the league weren’t so lucky, which is what we dissected on The QB Factory #8!
You can view the full list of opt-outs by clicking here.
The team hit hardest were easily the New England Patriots, who saw 8 players decide to redshirt the season. Chief among them is stud linebacker Dont’a Hightower who been the centerpiece of the defense for years. They also took a hit on the offensive line with tackle Marcus Cannon taking the year off.
It was already a year of transition for the Patriots and this slew of moves only further exacerbates their issues. With the Buffalo Bills seemingly on the rise despite their fortunes being tethered to scattershot quarterback play, the Patriots are in serious trouble of being dethroned as AFC East Champions for the first time since 2008.
In the NFC East, the New York Giants face a lot of unknown with starting left tackle Nate Solder opting out. Solder has been overpaid on his mega-deal but he still represents an average-to-below-average starter and a known quantity.
With Solder’s absence, the Giants will have to rely on 4th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft Andrew Thomas and a combination of Cameron Fleming (bad), Nick Gates (who?), and 3rd round selection Matt Peart. That’s particularly bad news when you have a quarterback as blind to pressure as Daniel Jones.
Another team with protection issues could see their addition of firepower at wide receiver totally undone by offensive line issues is the Denver Broncos. With Courtland Sutton already looking like a true WR1, the Broncos added Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in the first round and Penn State’s KJ Hamler in the second round.
Starting right tackle Ja’Wuan James opting out makes an already bad line much worse. Embattled left tackle Garrett Bolles was already facing a challenge from Calvin Anderson, who was a poach from the New York Jets practice squad as a developmental piece. Another potential starter on the right side is Elijah Wilkinson, but he began his season on the PUP list after having foot surgery and was just activated a few days ago.
To survive, the Broncos will have to lean on the after catch chops of Sutton, Jeudy, Hamler, and tight end Noah Fant. Considering the traits of those players, it could be worse, but it’s still something to track as Drew Lock enters his sophomore campaign.
We dig more into the impacts on these teams and quarterbacks with extra thoughts on Marquise Goodwin and the Miami Dolphins playmakers on The QB Factory #8! Listen on the media player below or click here if the player doesn’t load. New to podcasts?! Check out our guide on how to listen and subscribe to BGN! FLY EAGLES FLY!