Giants Highest-Paid Player a Potential Trade Candidate Following Draft

Giants' Nate Solder in danger of being cut

Getty Offensive tackle Nate Solder #76 of the New York Giants.

The New York Giants went offensive tackle heavy over the first two days of the 2020 NFL Draft. Big Blue used two of their first three selections to draft Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Uconn’s Matt Peart.

The Giants hope they’ve secured their bookend tackles for years to come. However, where does that leave New York’s current starting left tackle and highest-salaried player on the roster, Nate Solder, moving forward? According to Pro Football Focus, potentially on the move.

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Is Nate Solder on His Way Out of NY?

Nate Solder joined the Giants two years ago on a lucrative 4-year contract worth up to $62 million with $35 million guaranteed. While he’s since started every game at left tackle for Big Blue, it’s safe to say his performance has fallen short of what one would expect from a player handed such a lofty contract. His poor play has led many to question his future in New York, PFF included.

While they did point out that the most logical situation involving Solder may be to hold on to him for another season or two until Peart is ready to man a starting gig, they also toss out a hypothetical, yet very possible scenario. What if Peart develops faster than his draft status would suggest? Well, then the Giants could be looking at moving on from their “franchise” left tackle.

It’s likely early to think about a Solder trade, as the Giants drafted Georgia’s Andrew Thomas to fill their need at right tackle while third-rounder Matt Peart is more of a project. However, if Peart develops faster than expected, there could be a scenario where he steps in at right tackle and Thomas plays the left side, making Solder expendable. The Giants broke the bank for Solder prior to the 2018 season, and he’s coming off the worst overall grade of his career (64.7). The rest of Solder’s career has been solid, as he’s graded between 71.2 and 84.9 each year since his rookie season, but last year’s production is concerning. It’s far more likely that Peart isn’t ready to step in for another year or two, but accelerated development could have the Giants thinking about a trade for Solder, who is a worthwhile reclamation project at the right price.

Finding a Solder Trade Partner Would Be Difficult

Solder is coming off the worst PFF graded season of his career in 2019, with an overall grade of just 64.8. Over the past three seasons, he’s accumulated an average PFF grade of only 71.2, failing to eclipse a 75.7 grade in any season.

As we sit here today, Solder is set to make $13 million yearly cash in 2020 with a cap hit of $19.5 million, per spotrac. That type of money makes him far and above the highest-paid player on the Giants’ current roster.

It’ll likely be hard to find trade suitors for a player with such a high salary who appears to be on the back nine of his career.

The Giants’ best bet moving forward would likely be to hope that Solder can come close to regaining his New England Patriots form of a few years ago with a more well-rounded, talented offensive line group around him.

Having Solder on the left side, Andrew Thomas on the right and Matt Peart waiting in the wings likely gives Daniel Jones the best chance to succeed immediately in 2020.

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