Giants left tackle Nate Solder has announced he is opting out of the 2020 season. The former Patriots blocker cited family concerns in doing so (Twitter link). Solder, who overcame testicular cancer during his NFL career, has a son battling cancer.
This was set to be Solder’s third season with the Giants, who were to slot No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas‘ at right tackle. This announcement may change the organization’s plans. Solder qualifies as a high-risk opt-out player. He will receive a $350K stipend for the 2020 season.
The Giants signed Solder to a then-record four-year, $62MM deal in 2018. That deal now runs through the 2022 season, with Solder’s $9.9MM base salary and $19.5MM cap number tolling to 2021.
He was the centerpiece of then-new GM Dave Gettleman‘s offensive line overhaul. While the 6-foot-8 veteran has not delivered on that contract, his opt out will leave the Giants shorthanded at one of the game’s most pivotal positions. Solder, 32, has started all 32 games since signing his Giants pact.
Big Blue drafted Thomas as a Solder heir apparent, but after letting 2019 right tackle stopgap Mike Remmers leave in free agency, the team was planning on a Solder-Thomas setup. This may force the team to begin Thomas at left tackle early and move March addition Cameron Fleming into the starting lineup. The Giants had the former Patriots and Cowboys tackle on track for a swing-man role. Fleming has started 18 games in his six-year career. New York also used a third-round pick on tackle Matt Peart, but even before the coronavirus wiped out onsite offseason workouts, the UConn product was viewed as more of a developmental player.
Were the Giants to look to the market to find a left tackle stopgap, Cordy Glenn remains unsigned. Jason Peters re-signed with the Eagles after months in free agency, and Kelvin Beachum reached a recent deal with the Cardinals. Donald Penn and longtime Buccaneers right tackle Demar Dotson also remain free agents.
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