Taking Ryan Swope in the draft was a risk.
Wednesday, the Cardinals officially lost the gamble in choosing the Texas A&M wide receiver, after Swope was put on the reserve/retired list because of his ongoing concussion issues.
“We knew Ryan has a concussion history in college and understood that it could possibly be an issue,” General Manager Steve Keim said. “But weighing all the elements – the medical information available, the particular position in the draft – it was a decision we were comfortable making.
“As it turned out, he had a setback after he got here. Over the course of the subsequent evaluations, we all decided that Ryan’s long-term well-being was the number-one priority and this was the best course to take.”
Swope took part in only a couple of the early rookie workouts after the team took him with their first of two sixth-round picks in April’s draft. Most of the offseason, he hasn’t even been at the team facility.
Through his agent, Swope released a statement:
“As a result of a concussion I suffered during OTAs, I was advised by doctors that there were serious risks in returning to play football at this point. It has been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL but my long-term health interests outweigh my current goals for football. Because of that, I am electing to retire from the game for now and and then reassess my future after this season. In the meantime, I plan to return to Texas A&M to pursue my degree.
"I want to thank the Arizona Cardinals organization for the opportunity and their support. I wish the team much success this season"
Swope insisted when he was drafted that he was healthy and would be fine. Reports had Swope suffering at least two concussions while in college.
“Through this whole process (concussions) have not really been a red flag for me,” Swope said in April. “I haven’t been asked questions about it. So I really feel 110 percent. My head feels great. My body feels great.”
By late June, however, it was becoming clear Swope’s future with the Cardinals was in jeopardy. Coach Bruce Arians acknowledged as much during an interview with NFL.com.
“I’m not sure what he can do, I’m not sure what the doctors are going to do at this point,” Arians said then. “I hope … because the kid is a great talent, and it would be a shame. But having Austin Collie last year going through this same thing, it’s scary.”
The Cardinals have already been impressed with some of their other rookie receivers in camp, including undrafted Clemson product
Swope had set Texas A&M school records with 252 receptions for 3,117 yards and 15 career 100-yard receiving games and finished second in school history with 24 career TD receptions.