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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

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Raheem Mostert and Fred Warner discuss the sacrifices of not opting out of season

Aug 5, 2020 at 1:19 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers had their first player, wide receiver Travis Benjamin, opt-out of the 2020 season. It was a decision he felt was best for the health of himself and his family. In these challenging times, as the NFL navigates its way toward playing amidst a pandemic, no one can blame Benjamin.

Linebacker Fred Warner spoke with reporters today via a video conference and discussed Benjamin's decision to forego the upcoming season.

"I think it's just a unique situation," Warner explained. "At the end of the day, everybody wants to play football. I think even guys who do opt-out, their true intent is they want to play football, but they have to think about more than just themselves.

"This coronavirus, there's so much unknown. Every day, I feel like I'm learning something new about it ... Guys have families that they're going home to. Guys have newborns that they just had. When it comes to family, and your children, you don't want to take that risk."

Added Warner: "Travis opting out, I have all the respect in the world for Travis. I trained with him back in Southern California back when he was with the Chargers. I have all the respect for him. He's a great player, a great person, and him opting out, that's his own decision. Hopefully, the coaches respect that. At the end of the day, its a very unique situation, and everybody's situation is different."

Running back Raheem Mostert certainly understands Benjamin's decision. He has a baby at home, with another on the way. Mostert and his wife had numerous discussions about what to do.

Mostert, unlike Benjamin, will play, though. He confirmed that today.

"It was a very long and tough discussion with my wife," Mostert said. "Right now, our current situation, she's back in Cleveland with the family, my 13-month-old son, as well as we're expecting our second child at the end of September.

"The discussions we've had have been long and extensive, but she understands the importance of me being out here, and being able to provide for the family, and all those good things. We've had more positive talks than negative, and we've been able to communicate on a day-to-day basis, just to understand each other's feelings and to make sure she's at ease, especially during a time like this."

Mostert went on to share that the discussions were not easy. Tears were involved as the family figured out what it was going to do.

"I told her flat-out, 'Hey look, I don't want you guys to even come to Cali because I don't want you to be infected, I don't want my one-year-old to be infected, as well as the new addition to our family.'"

Making the situation even more complicated is the family's discussions surrounding what to do when that new addition arrives. Mostert explained that he doesn't necessarily have plans to return to Cleveland to be there for the birth of his second child. He spoke with head coach Kyle Shanahan, who assured him the 49ers would do everything in their power to support him in whatever he decides to do.

Mostert's wife, however, wants to make sure they are careful. Even if the 49ers support Mostert going home for the birth, she doesn't necessarily believe that would be best for their family.

"I tried to ease her mind a little bit and tell her, 'Hey look, I'm getting tested every day. It's not like I'm going out, doing reckless things.'"

For now, Mostert plans to remain at the team hotel, which is pretty empty anyway because no one is traveling.

"I told her, 'I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you're happy, at the end of the day,'" Mostert added. "If she doesn't want me to be there, that's fine. It's all about communication, and we're definitely on the same page about everything."

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