Last offseason, Patriots third-round offensive lineman Antonio Garcia was expected to play a role for the 2017 squad. A year later, the Troy product is rostered by one of New England’s division rivals, the Jets.
Garcia ended up missing his entire rookie campaign after blood clots were found in his lungs. The Patriots ultimately cut the lineman earlier this offseason, and he quickly caught on with the New York, where he’s been taking backup left tackle snaps during OTAs. The 24-year-old denied reports claiming he had lost nearly 40 pounds, and he didn’t sound particularly surprised by the Patriots’ decision to let him go.
“I just wasn’t cleared medically in New England. So, it is what it is,” Garcia told Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News. “I think they knew I was a good player.”
After learning of his diagnosis shortly before training camp was set to begin, Garcia admitted that the entire ordeal caught him off guard.
“It was definitely unexpected,” Garcia said. “It’s never happened ever in my life. How did I react to it? I was caught off-guard. But I had no choice but to accept it and try to improve every day.”
Let’s take a look at other notes out of the AFC East…
- As Brock Osweiler competes with David Fales and Bryce Petty to be the Dolphins backup quarterback, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the veteran needs to improve his accuracy if he has any hope of making the team. However, while Osweiler doesn’t seem to be the favorite for the gig, it sounds like he has the support of the coaching staff. “What Brock has is unbelievable command of the offense,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “He was in it. He got to learn from the best in the game — No. 18 [Peyton Manning] — and when you watch his huddle etiquette, his line of scrimmage procedure etiquette, he does an outstanding job there.”
- Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News wonders if wideout Brandon Reilly could end up making the Bills. The former undrafted free agent spent most of the 2017 season on Buffalo’s practice squad, but a shallow receiver depth chart means he could earn a promotion in 2018. Skurski notes that Kelvin Benjamin is really the only wideout with a guaranteed roster spot, although he assumes Zay Jones and Jeremy Kerley will make the team. Otherwise, Reilly could realistically beat out any of the other receivers sitting on the roster.
- Rumors were flying around Twitter and New England yesterday regarding a potential Rob Gronkowski trade. Those rumblings ultimately proved to be unfounded, with one Patriots reporter saying there was “zero truth” to any of the reports.