Marcus Cannon was one of eight players who opted out for the Patriots last season. As a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the offensive lineman had his health to consider during the pandemic.
Cannon, 32, is returning this season but not to the Patriots. New England traded him to the Texans, so he is returning to his home state instead.
“This last year was amazing,” Cannon said Monday, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I got a lot of time with the family. A lot of time for myself to work out and stay in shape and just get my body right and my mind right.
“It was great to have some time off from all of the bumps and bruises I’ve had over the years. The part I’m the most happy about is the time I had with my family. That was great.”
Cannon started 69 of 115 games after the Patriots drafted him in the fifth round in 2011, and he won three Super Bowl rings. He grew up in New England. He is expected to lead in Houston.
“It was bittersweet because I have a lot of friends there; I have a lot of memories there,” Cannon said. “That was the bitter part, but the sweet part is that I’m playing in Texas again. I don’t have any woes about playing here.
“There’s only positives. It’s a change from where I was, but I’m ready to attack it, and I’m ready to do the best I can for this organization.”