Giants’ Free-Agent Addition Shockingly Retires From NFL at 25-Years-Old

Giants' OT Nate Wozniak retires from NFL at just 25-years-old

Getty Nate Wozniak, TE turned OT, now formerly of the New York Giants

Following a few splashy moves earlier this offseason, which included the additions of James Bradberry and Blake Martinez, the New York Giants have steered clear of the transaction wire in recent months for the most part. However, that has since changed, as Big Blue has seen quite their fair share of roster turnover in the past week or so.

From troubled cornerback DeAndre Baker landing on the Commissioner Exempt List, to making multiple waiver claims, to Nate Solder opting out of the 2020 season, Big Blue’s roster is starting to look a whole lot different than it did just a few days ago.

We can now add yet another name to the compiling list of roster movement in the Giants’ building, as New York has once again been stripped of an offensive lineman.

In a rather surprising move, offensive tackle Nate Wozniak has stepped away from the NFL, retiring from football at just 25-years of age. Per NBC Sports’ Albert Breer, the University of Minnesota alumn was placed on New York’s reserve/retired list on Thursday, a mere day after Solder announced his decision to hang up his cleats for the forthcoming year.

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Wozniak Was an Intriguing Project for Giants

Wozniak, a former tight end in college, signed with the New Orleans Saints as a rookie after going undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. It was in NOLA where Wozniak’s transition to the offensive line began, sticking on the Saints’ practice squad until early August of the following year as an offensive tackle.

Wozniak would go on to have short-lived stints with the Atlanta Falcons as well as the Minnesota Vikings before rejoining the Saints’ practice squad in December of last season. His second stop in New Orleans lasted far less than his first, making it slightly over a week before being released.

It was from there Wozniak found his way to the Giants, closing out the latter part of 2019 on New York’s practice squad and eventually inking a reserve/future contract with the Giants following the season.

While Wozniak was in no way primed to nail down a starting gig along the Giants’ offensive line in 2020, he was expected to battle for one of the two backup spots behind the team’s starting tackles.

The 6-foot-10-inch Wozniak was certainly on the lighter-side of NFL offensive linemen, with some outlets listing his as light as 280-pounds. With that said, his athletic traits made him an intriguing developmental project for Big Blue. His 5.10 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 32-inch vertical jump back at his Minnesota Pro Day further highlight that.

Giants Growing Concerningly Thin at Tackle

In terms of fallout for the Giants, New York was heading into training camp with high hopes for the offensive tackle position, namely due to the addition of 4th-overall pick Andrew Thomas as well as a projected bounce-back season by Solder.

Now with the loss of Solder, Thomas will almost certainly be thrown into the fire at left tackle. While the surprising retirement of Wozniak strips the G-Men of quality depth behind the team’s starting five.