Report: Patriots OL Robert Gallery Announces Retirement

Pranav TadikondaCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 20: Robert Gallery #72 blocks against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 20, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Patriots offensive lineman Robert Gallery has announced his retirement after eight years in the league. Reiss reported the news via Twitter.

Patriots announce that veteran OL Robert Gallery has retired. Struggled in camp.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 4, 2012

Gallery was a former No. 2 overall pick out of Iowa in 2004. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. Analysts raved about Gallery's talent and abilities, but the Hawkeye standout struggled in the NFL at both the tackle and guard position. After deciding to cut ties with Oakland, Gallery moved to Seattle, but was released in 2011. The Patriots signed him in early spring this year.

Gallery was signed to help fill the void that Matt Light left after Light retired. Soon after the Gallery signing, it was discovered that Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins had played Super Bowl XLVI with a torn ACL.

Gallery's departure is a big hit to the Patriots' elite offensive line, as uncertainty remains regarding Mankins' health and guard Brian Waters' absence from training camp.

The 32-year-old had reportedly struggled in training camp this year, and it seems as though that could have been the reason he retired.

 

What it Means for the Patriots

Gallery's retirement leaves Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Donald Thomas and Nick McDonald as the only healthy, proven guards on the roster. Derek Dennis and Jeremiah Warren are two other candidates who could potentially make the roster as rookies. 

The Patriots have some strings to pull, because protecting quarterback Tom Brady must be their N No. 1 priority. With opposing teams loading up on pass rushers, the Patriots have some work to do to get Brady all the help he can get.