Cardinals OT Gilbert opts out for health concerns

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert has opted out of the 2020 NFL season due to medical concerns, he announced Tuesday on social media.

“While this decision was not easy for me, I felt it was the best decision due to my standing as a high-risk player with high-risk family members,” Gilbert wrote on Twitter. “I am grateful for the opportunities that have been afforded to me over many years in the NFL and I am looking forward to returning stronger than ever for the 2021 NFL Season.

“Furthermore, I am sending out my thoughts and prayers for the safety and success of my teammates and all those playing across the league this year.”

Players with approved medical reasons for opting out will receive a $350,000 stipend for 2020. Players who voluntarily opt out will receive a $150,000 advance toward future salary. The deadline to opt out is 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Gilbert, 32, has played in just 12 games since 2016 due to various injuries, missing nine games in 2017 and 11 in 2018 while with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After he was traded to the Cardinals last year, he tore his ACL before the season and didn’t play a game with his new team.

The Cardinals re-signed Gilbert to a reported one-year, $3.75 million contract in March, but that will now toll until 2021.

For his career, Gilbert has 87 starts in 88 games over eight seasons, all with the Steelers, who drafted him in the second round in 2011.

Veteran Justin Murray, who allowed six sacks while starting 12 games at right tackle last season, remains on the roster, and the Cardinals also have third-round rookie Josh Jones.

Jones was projected as a potential first-round pick by many before slipping to 72nd overall.


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