It’s pretty safe to say that Nate Solder’s tenure with the New York Giants has not gone the way both parties had hoped when Big Blue inked the left tackle to a massive $35 million guaranteed contract prior to the 2018 season.
Fast forward two years and Solder has shown rapid signs of age and regression, culminating in a 64.8 PFF grade in 2019, the worst mark of his nine-year pro career.
To further put his placement within the Giants organization in question, New York used two of their top-3 selections in last month’s NFL draft on players at Solder’s position. That, of course, includes the likes of 4th-overall selection Andrew Thomas, who will likely make the reasoning for employing Solder obsolete sooner rather than later.
However, despite Solder’s poor play, abundantly-sized contract, and potential replacements on deck, Dan Duggan of The Athletic believes that Solder will indeed remain with the Giants for at least the 2020 season.
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Cutting Solder Would Be ‘Burdensome’
Duggan recently broke down why it is no longer in Big Blue’s best interest to explore moving on from Solder at this time.
If the Giants made Solder a post-June 1 cut, they’d eat $9.5 million in dead money while creating $10 million in cap savings for 2020. But the catch is they’d still have to eat another $6.5 million dead money in 2021.
June 1 really isn’t a deadline since the Giants have had months to use the post-June 1 designation if they wanted to cut Solder while spreading out his dead money charges. It’s clear that they have no plans to do so.
If the Giants wanted to cut Solder, it would have made more sense to do so before he collected a $3 million bonus for being on the roster on the first day of the league year (March 18). That way the Giants would have eaten $13 million in dead money while creating $6.5 million in cap savings to spend immediately in free agency on a replacement such as Jason Peters.
The Giants made cutting Solder more burdensome by restructuring his contract before the start of last season to create cap space. The move saved $5 million on the 2019 cap, but added $5 million in bonus money to the final two years of his contract.
Can Matt Peart Beat Out Solder For Starting Gig?
From the jump? Likely not. However, would it be a surprise to see Peart work his way into the Giants’ starting lineup later on during this season? Not at all. Especially if Solder continues on the path he’s been on over the past two years.
Peart, a former UCONN standout, enters the NFL with an abundance of upside and has received the type of praise you rarely see for someone who didn’t hear their name called until the 3rd-round.
In fact, former New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks scout and current-day Senior Bowl executive director, Jim Nagy, believes that Peart possesses some abilities even greater than New York’s 1st-round pick, Andrew Thomas.
I would think they’d probably play Andrew Thomas at left. But if you were starting from scratch and where they got drafted from wasn’t an issue, you’d probably put Peart and left and Thomas on the right.
Usually you can’t get a guy with starting left tackle ability in the third round, and he’s got that type of upside. His feet, his length, he’s done some really good stuff in pass pro. He’s a better athlete than Andrew Thomas.