Big-Ticket FA Deemed Giants’ ‘Biggest Mistake of Past Decade’

Giants' Nate Solder in danger of being cut

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

The New York Giants have had quite their fair share of blunders over the past decade. From using a top-10 overall draft pick on offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, to going on a spending spree in free agency four years back with no playoff victories to show for it, the G-Men have made a few regrettable decisions in hindsight.

However, according to Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report, he believes that none of these previous faults come close to the debacle that was signing offensive tackle Nate Solder. With Davenport going as far as to deem the Giants’ decision to dole out $35 million guaranteed to the offensive tackle the team’s “biggest mistake of the past decade.”

Solder has been a sieve in the Big Apple. Last year, in just over 1,000 offensive snaps, he allowed a staggering 11 sacks.

Solder’s contract makes moving on in 2020 problematic. But with rookie Andrew Thomas now in the fold, his days of “protecting” Daniel Jones’ backside are probably numbered.

Well, assuming Thomas pans out.

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Solder Ranks as the NFL’s Most Overpaid Player

Davenport is far from the only one slandering the Giants’ decision to acquire Solder back in 2018. CBS Sports’ John Breech took things one step further, naming Solder the most-overpaid player in all of football.

1. Nate Solder, LT (Giants)2020 cap hit: $19.5 million

When the Giants made Nate Solder the highest-paid left tackle in NFL history back in 2018, they were probably hoping that his play would justify his pay, but that simply hasn’t been the case. Solder has been so bad that he might actually go down as one of the free agent busts in NFL history.

If you watched any highlights of the Giants from 2019, you may have noticed that Daniel Jones was almost always running for his life. A big reason for that is because of Solder’s struggles: The left tackle surrendered 11 sacks last year, according to Pro Football Focus.

If you’re wondering what the Giants currently think of Solder, all you have to do is look at they did in the 2020 draft: After only two seasons of watching Solder play, the Giants decided they needed to upgrade at tackle, which is why they selected Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick. Two years after being signed, Solder still has the biggest cap hit of any left tackle in the NFL and the second-biggest cap hit of any offensive linemen heading into 2020.

Solder has dealt with a slew of injuries and personal family matters over the past two seasons, which have almost certainly led to a decrease in on-field production. With that said, that’s no excuse for general manager Dave Gettleman’s decision to go all-in on acquiring Solder during his first offseason with the team.

Upon signing Solder, the offensive tackle was, at the time, already entering the down-slide of his career, inking a deal with Big Blue a month out from his 30th-birthday. His regression has only excelled since arriving in New York, culminating in a 64.8 PFF grade in 2019, the worst mark of his nine-year pro career.

Solder will almost certainly stick around East Rutherford for at least another season, mainly due to salary repercussions. Should the Giants make him a post-June 1 cut, they’d eat $16 million in dead money over the next two seasons, which is certainly not ideal.

With that said, the future is fast arising in New York, and Solder doesn’t appear to be a part of it, especially with the new arrivals of fellow offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart.