With 18 open spots on their 90-man offseason roster, the New England Patriots opted to bring in a pair of offensive linemen for free agency workouts yesterday, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. One of the two players – former Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins tackle Ulrick John – was reportedly already signed by the team. The fate of the second player to visit Foxboro yesterday, guard Sebastian Tretola, is still up in the air.
A three-year starter and first-team All-conference selection at Arkansas, Tretola originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft choice by the Tennessee Titans in 2016. His rookie campaign was pretty much a redshirt season, though, as he was active for only one game and played a mere three offensive snaps. Before even entering his second training camp in the league, the 6'4, 315 lbs lineman was cut by Tennessee.
The release came in the aftermath of a bar fight Tretola and Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe were involved in. The offensive lineman suffered a minor gunshot wound to his foot during the altercation and was let go by his team a few days later. Since then, he has been out of football. Now, the 25-year old is on the verge of finding a new team – one that has a close connection to his former college coach Bret Bielema.
Bielema was present at the scouting combine as a representative of the Patriots organization. While it is not yet known if he will officially join the staff in some capacity moving forward, it looks as if his influence might have played a role in the team brining in Tretola – a long-shot to actually make the 53-man roster if signed – for a workout.