Lost in the shuffle that was the start to the New York Giants rookie mini-camp was the news that offensive tackle Antonio Garcia was released by the New England Patriots . Garcia was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2017 draft, and was a potential in-house replacement for Nate Solder.
That a team like the Patriots would release a high-round pick draft pick at a position of need just a year after selecting him should be enough to raise eyebrows.
As it turns out, Garcia didn’t play football at all in 2017, being placed on the non-football illness list when blood clots were found in his lungs. Garcia himself posted on Instagram that he had been cleared to play earlier in the spring, but was tagged with a “failed physical” designation when he was released on Friday.
We were very high on the 6-foot-6, 305-pound tackle in last year’s draft. Coming out we felt that he has the upside to be a starting offensive tackle in the NFL with added strength in an NFL strength and conditioning program. Garcia was a three-year starter at Troy, playing with good technique and a nasty streak and had more than 900 consecutive snaps without allowing a sack.
So, should the Giants be interested in Garcia?
Given the Giants’ need at offensive tackle, there probably isn’t any harm in bringing him in for a physical and — health allowing — a workout. Assuming he is healthy, Garcia could help solidify the Giants’ offensive line.
However, ‘blood clots in his lungs’ is a scary phrase and Garcia’s long-term health should be of paramount importance.