Wide receiver Travis Benjamin on Tuesday night announced he is opting out for 2020, the first 49ers player to do so amid COVID-19 concerns.
The NFL’s deadline to opt out is Thursday, ESPN reported Tuesday. A day earlier, 49ers general manager John Lynch said no player had intimated to him they might take that path.
So far, 51 players have opted to sit out the coming season under the clause enacted by the NFL and NFL Players Association, and that includes eight New England Patriots.
Benjamin, 30, figured to battle for a role in the 49ers’ youth-laden receiving corps. He may have been on the roster bubble, or he may have provided an experienced presence, especially while starter Deebo Samuel recovers from foot surgery.
Benjamin posted the following statement on Twitter announcing his 2020 exit:
“First I would like to thank the 49ers organization for their continued support. After much consideration and discussion with my family I have decided to opt out of the 2020 season as I feel this is the best decision for my family. I will continue to support my teammates and many friends around the league this season. As we continue to navigate this pandemic I wish that everyone stays safe.”
— Travis Benjamin (@TravisBenjamin3) August 5, 2020
Benjamin signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract in March to reunite with coach Kyle Shanahan, who was the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator in 2014. Benjamin played for the Browns from 2012-15 and the Chargers the past four seasons. His 49ers contract rolls over to 2021, and he is eligible for a $150,000 NFL-issued advance.
Competing for top spots on the 49ers’ receiving corps beside Samuel are Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis, Jalen Hurd and first-round draft pick Brandon Aiyuk. Their other receivers are Jauan Jennings, Chris Thompson, Shawn Poindexter and Richie James Jr., the latter of whom moved from the reserve/COVID-19 list to the active/non-football-injury list Tuesday.
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Author: Cam Inman