Giants’ Nate Solder Makes Call on Future Playing Status: Report

Giants work out new deal with Nate Solder

Getty Nate Solder #76 of the New York Giants.

New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder voiced his desire to return to the gridiron during a phone conversation with ESPN this week. According to reporter Jordan Raanan, the soon-to-be 33-year-old intends to play in the 2021 NFL season “as long as the situation is right.” Raanan adds that the nine-year veteran has yet to engage in conversations with the organization regarding his future.

Solder was a high-risk opt-out this past season due to concerns for his family’s health related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many believed that the former first-round pick had recently been mulling over retirement.

ALL the latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!

Sign up for the Heavy on Giants Newsletter!

The State of the Giants’ Offensive Line

The jury is still very much out on whether Daniel Jones is the man for the job under center for the Giants. With that said, chances are we’d be better able to gauge his abilities if he wasn’t getting his skull buried into the dirt with regularity.

The team’s offensive line, which compared to the season prior, consisted of four new starters across the unit by season’s end, endured its fair share of growing pains in 2020. According to Pro Football Focus, they graded out as the league’s second-to-worst offensive line in football this past season. Furthermore, they allowed the second-most pressures league-wide (50), while their 8.82% QB Sacked Percentage was second only to NFC East foes, the Philadelphia Eagles.

No matter which way you spin it, the unit was not very good this past season. Certainly, the re-insertion of a two-time Super Bowl Champion and 127 game career starter such as Solder would help the unit’s cause – or would it? That’s the decision the Giants are now faced with.

Follow the Heavy on Giants Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!

To Cut or Not to Cut? Financial Implications Surrounding Solder

Financially, Solder has two years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $16.5 million this upcoming season, second to only James Bradberry among Giants players. That cap hit would then jump to $18 million the following year.

If the Giants decide to move on from Solder prior to the start of free agency, they would free up $6 million in cap space. The team would take on $10.5 million in dead money on their 2021 salary cap. However, from that point on, Solder would be officially washed from the books.

Making Solder a post-June 1 cut would create $4 million more in cap savings for 2021, while taking $4 million less in dead money for 2021. However, Solder would remain on the books into 2022, where the Giants would take on another $4 million in dead money.

The latter move may seem like the most ideal on the surface. Yet, as The Athletic’s Dan Duggan recently highlighted, just because the Giants would receive $10 in cap savings doesn’t mean they’d be able to put that money back into this year’s free agency market.

Players designated as June 1 cuts still count on the cap until, logically, June 1. So the $10 million in cap savings from making Solder a June 1 cut wouldn’t be available to the Giants until well after the top free agents have signed.

The fact of the matter is, Solder would likely be an upgrade over impending free agent Cam Fleming at right tackle. However, the Giants are clearly in the midst of a youth movement and removing Solder from the books – one way or another – would allow them to eventually have extra cash on hand to put towards retaining their young in-home talent.

Yet, arguably the biggest question regarding this entire situation is how do the Giants feel about 2020 third-round pick Matt Peart? The former UConn Husky logged 150 snaps in spot duty last season and is an athletic marvel. Ideally, he would be the long-term answer opposite left tackle Andrew Thomas. If the team feels Peart is ready to man that role, the prospect of moving on from Solder becomes ever more likely.


For more Celtics content, follow @VinnySomma on Twitter.
Read More