Former Third-Round Draft Pick Released By New England Patriots

Charles KrupaAP Images

Making bold moves is normal for the New England Patriots. The Patriots, in large part due to head coach Bill Belichick’s shrewd decision-making, are always doing something head-scratching. The latest Patriots decision, releasing one of the members of the 2017 draft class, have caught many by surprise.

CBS Sports is reporting that the New England Patriots released offensive lineman Antonio “Tony” Garcia on Friday.

News of the Patriots cutting Antonio Garcia is a huge surprise. Garcia was a third-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2017. It was a draft day trade made by the Patriots who moved up 11 spots (courtesy of NBC Sports Boston) to get take him. It was widely assumed that Garcia was going to be given a chance to make the Patriots this summer.

The Patriots did take an offensive lineman, Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn, in the first round of April’s NFL draft. Many of the draft grades on Wynn, however, view him as an undersized lineman. Isaiah Wynn was originally projected to play guard.

With tackle Nate Solder now signed with the New York Giants, the Patriots’ agenda was to identify a suitable replacement. Cutting ties with Antonio Garcia leaves their overall depth dangerously thin. What raises eyebrows is the fact that Garcia spent his rookie season out with a non-football related injury.

According to 247 Sports, doctors found blood clots in Antonio Garcia’s lungs. He lost more than 30 pounds as a result, yet he was on the verge of being able to play again.

Antonio Garcia never had the chance to show the New England Patriots what he could do. Garcia being released one year after the Patriots drafted him could easily be dismissed as business as usual. It is yet another curious decision made by the Patriots this year.

One of the boldest moves the Patriots made was the benching of starting cornerback Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. This was despite the fact Butler was on the field for more than 98 percent of the Patriots’ plays during the regular season.

Some believe that the Butler benching cost the Patriots another championship, possibly dividing the team. Cutting Antonio Garcia is not a way of delivering good will. Instead, it creates the idea that everyone is expendable.

With some of their recent moves, the New England Patriots will have a spotlight on them this season. Failure to produce will also make Bill Belichick’s seat warmer than it normally is.