Patriots reportedly make surprising cut on offensive line, dumping 2017 draft pick

One of the biggest holes the Patriots will need to fill before the start of the 2018 season is at left tackle. Over the next few months, New England will be looking for someone to replace Nate Solder, who signed with the Giants during free agency.  

Although the Patriots have several options at left tackle, one player who won't be in the running to win the job is 2017 draft pick Antonio Garcia, and that's because he's no longer on the team. According to ESPN.com, Garcia was released on Friday with a non-football injury designation.

With the left tackle job up for grabs, Garcia seemed like someone who might be able to compete for the spot. After all, the Patriots were so high on him going into the 2017 NFL Draft that they actually traded up 11 spots to grab him in the third round. Garcia was the Patriots' second pick in the entire draft last year, because the team didn't have any selections in the first or second round. 

The decision to cut Garcia means that the former Troy offensive tackle will have ended his one-year career in New England without actually playing in a game for the Patriots. Garcia missed the entire 2017 season over a health issue. According to the Boston Herald, Garcia was dealing with blood clots and had to be put on blood thinners that caused him to lose 40 pounds. 

With Garcia out, there will likely be a battle between two newcomers for the vacant left tackle spot with the job either going to 2018 first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn or Trent Brown, who recently came over from San Francisco in a trade.

Although there was some predraft talk that Wynn might make more sense at guard, Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said on Friday that the team will definitely give him a chance to play tackle. 

"He's played left tackle in the best conference in America [and] played it pretty good," Scarnecchia said, via ESPN.com. "We're going to take a look at it and see how it goes. ... We look for three traits -- smart, tough and athletic enough to play the position -- and he's got all three. We'll see if that translates to this level."

As for Garcia, he was one of only four players the Patriots selected in the entire 2017 draft. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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