Giants Urged to Bench Former Big-Ticket Signee ‘Immediately’

Giants urged to bench Nate Solder

Getty Head coach Joe Judge of the New York Giants greets Nate Solder #76.

Money doesn’t always equate to wins. The New York Giants have been a prime example of this in the early parts of the 2021 NFL season. Despite spending the third-most total money in football this past offseason, the G-Men are one of just five teams who finished September with a winless record.

While we are holding out hope that players like Kenny Golladay and Devontae Booker can turn things around, this wouldn’t be the first time that the team’s tendency to cut a check has come back to bite them. The fact of the matter is, Dave Gettleman has had his fair share of misfires since taking the helm in 2018, from Patrick Omameh to Kareem Martin to Golden Tate — his track record on vetting free agent talent isn’t the best. Over Gettleman’s four offseasons on the job, the Giants have spent within the top-eight of NFL teams in free agency on three occasions.

Arguably the biggest financial gaffe to date was the $34.8 million he guaranteed to a deteriorating Nate Solder a few seasons back. The return on investment for the two-time Super Bowl champion has been lackluster at best. And while his willingness to take a pay cut this offseason reduced some of the financial burden attached to his name, his continued regression remains a glaring issue across an offensive line riddled with them.


Time to Bench Solder?

Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay certainly believes so. With the worst overall Pro Football Focus grade of his Giants career (51.7) and 2020 third-round pick Matt Peart waiting in the wings, the B/R columnist puts an end to all debate, proclaiming the Giants “must” bench the veteran tackle.

One of the most problematic spots is right tackle, where Nate Solder has returned to start after opting out of the 2020 campaign. Solder appeared toasted before taking a season off, and the break hardly did him any favors. The 33-year-old has already conceded two sacks and been flagged twice over his first 182 snaps since returning to the Giants.

With a 51.7 grade through three games, Solder’s play leaves much to be desired. The Giants coaching staff clearly didn’t trust Matt Peart to become a starter in his second year, but the young tackle has graded out at a more efficient 63.3 in his 19 snaps this season.

Considering this is already trending toward a lost year, Big Blue should send Solder to the bench and give Peart valuable reps and experience, potentially allowing him to evolve into a trustworthy starter for the club.

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Peart Time?

One would think. However, should we see the UConn product thrust into the starting lineup this year, it’s becoming more and more likely that it will not be at his natural position of offensive tackle, but rather on the interior of the offensive line.

“We’ve given him some reps this week at guard. That’s a new position for him. He’s definitely done some positive things that we’ll continuing build with,” said head coach Joe Judge. “But it’s just about building in the versatility. This isn’t a wholesale position change for this guy and say that he’s going to be a wholesale guard. Now, if that turns out to be the best thing for the team, that’s the best thing for the team.”

There may have been no more disappointing development from training camp this summer, sans injuries, than Peart not emerging as the starter at right tackle. However, if the Giants haven’t soured on the second-year pro it might be time to get him on the field because having a player with his traits riding the bench doesn’t exactly seem beneficial for a team so desperate for bodies up front.

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