49ers: Shon Coleman becomes the second Niners player to opt-out

49ers, Shon Coleman (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
49ers, Shon Coleman (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

San Francisco 49ers’ offensive tackle Shon Coleman has officially opted-out of the 2020 season.

The San Francisco 49ers ended the official opt-out period without an incredibly significant player making the decision to sit out of the 2020 season, but two more players joined the list on Thursday.

Veteran wide receiver Travis Benjamin became the first 49ers player to opt-out when his decision was announced late on Wednesday night. And just prior to the 1 p.m. PST deadline on Thursday, two of his teammates joined him.

Offensive tackle Shon Coleman and backup offensive guard/center Jake Brendel joined Benjamin on the Reserve/Opt-Out list making it a total of three 49ers to officially opt-out of the season.

Players can technically still opt-out even though the deadline has passed, however, teams will have the option to terminate their contracts as a result.

Coleman is definitely the more relevant of the two players, although both were competing for backup offensive line jobs. That said, Brendel was definitely seen as a longshot.

The former UCLA standout spent the first few years of his career playing sparingly with the Miami Dolphins starting three games in 2018. He spent last season pretty much out of football — save for a three-day stint with the Baltimore Ravens.

Brendel was signed by the 49ers in February and was expected to compete for a backup guard or center spot, but was definitely seen as a longshot.

Coleman, on the other hand, had a much better chance of making the team.

The 49ers had moderate expectations for Shon Coleman in 2020.

A third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2016, Coleman started all 16 games for the team in 2017 before being traded to the 49ers ahead of the 2018 season. However, San Francisco would leave him inactive for all 16 games that year.

Going into 2019, Coleman was expected to be the team’s top backup swing tackle, but a preseason ankle injury knocked him out for the entire season.

With the emergence of Justin Skule and the selection of Colton McKivitz in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Coleman faced increased competition for that swing tackle job.

Throw in the versatile Daniel Brunskill and Coleman was far from guaranteed a roster spot. But now, he’ll have to wait until next season before he finally returns to the gridiron.

Coleman was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 18 meaning that he does qualify as a “high-risk” player. As such, he’ll be given a 350k stipend while his contract tolls to next season.

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Fortunately, the 49ers have the offensive line depth to replace these two meaning that they have escaped the opt-out period without any significant damage.