Nate Solder

2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Talks between the league and the union have pushed it to August 6.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. Scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Brad Seaton

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants LT Nate Solder Opts Out

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Rams, Clowney, Brady

Rams wideout Brandin Cooks is set to return from the fifth known concussion of his six-year career. While the veteran has continually been sidelined by the dangerous head injury, he told reporters that his latest concussion didn’t make him consider retirement.

“Absolutely not,” Cooks told ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “When it happened, that never went through my mind. Even now, it’s not going through my mind.”

Cooks suffered a pair of concussions in a 25-day span, and he traveled to Pittsburgh twice to meet with the director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Following those meetings, Cooks felt comfortable returning to the field.

“One of the biggest things that I learned, concussions is a case-by-case thing,” said Cooks. “Mine was very unique, and just thankful once again to be able to go and get answers.”

Cooks won’t be the only Rams receiver returning to the lineup. Thiry writes that Robert Woods returned to practice this week after missing last week’s contest due to “personal issues.” The 6-4 Rams will take on the Ravens on Monday night.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision after missing three practices this week due to a hip injury, tweets ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Clowney didn’t travel with the team to Philadelphia as he gets his hip checked out. Clowney suffered the injury during Monday’s win over the 49ers. In his first season with Seattle, the 26-year-old has compiled 25 tackles, three sacks, and three forced fumbles.
  • The Eagles will be dealing with injuries of their own, as Lane Johnson is set to miss the matchup against Seattle. The veteran right tackle suffered a head injury during last weekend’s loss to the Patriots, and he remains in the concussion protocol. Rookie first-rounder Andre Dillard will slide into the starting lineup.
  • No surprise here, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will play vs. the Cowboys tomorrow. The 42-year-old was listed as questionable on the injury report thanks to an elbow injury. Brady hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the 2008 campaign.
  • Some good news on the Giants injury front: the team announced that wideout Sterling Shepard, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and offensive lineman Nate Solder have all cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday against the Bears. Jenkins and Solder both left the Giants’ Week 10 loss to the Jets, while Shepard hasn’t seen the field since Week 5.

Giants LT Nate Solder Out With Concussion

Giants starting left tackle Nate Solder has been ruled out with a concussion for the remainder of their contest against the Jets, according to the team. After falling behind 14-0 early, the team will look to complete a comeback without their leading blindside blocker.

Solder originally left the game in the middle of the second quarter. He limped off the field directly into the medical tent, according to Art Stapleton of USA Today. However, the team’s report removes the possibility of a serious, potentially season-ending, knee injury. With that said, the team will obviously be cautious with Solder’s return and he will not have to complete the league’s concussion protocol.

The Giants poached Solder from the Patriots in free-agency prior to last season. Since signing his massive four-year, $62MM contract Solder has been one of the few bright spots on a Giants offense that has been mired in struggles. His injury further depletes an offensive line that already is missing starting right tackle Mike Remmers with a back injury. Virginia alum Eric Smith, who has never started an NFL game, will replace Solder at left tackle.

Giants Shopping Janoris Jenkins, Alec Ogletree

The Giants might not be done dealing. Even after trading for Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams, the Giants are shopping cornerback Janoris Jenkins and linebacker Alec Ogletree, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. The Giants may also be open to trading tackle Nate Solder, RapSheet says, though we’ve heard conflicting word on that front over the last few days. 

Rumors have swirled about Jenkins’ status with the team for some time now and the club may finally be ready to part ways with him. For his part, Jackrabbit has been frustrated by the constant talk coupled with a lack of communication from the front office about his future. Through eight games, Jenkins has 35 total stops and an eye-popping four interceptions, showing that he’s still among the best corners in the NFL. Tomorrow, he’ll turn 31 years old, and he’ll be celebrating with a new group of friends if the Giants can find a suitable deal.

Ogletree, 28, entered the league as a first-round pick of the Rams. He didn’t impress in terms of the advanced metrics, but that wasn’t a turnoff for Dave Gettleman‘s front office. In March of 2018, they gave up some later-round draft capital to acquire Ogletree and his contract, which runs through 2021. Ogletree has started in all 19 of his games for the G-Men since then and has made some big plays, including five interceptions in 2018, two of which were returned for touchdowns.

The Browns could be one potential destination for Solder and many other contenders in need of tackles could also come calling. However, the Giants are reportedly nervous about switching up Daniel Jones‘ front line and may opt to keep him well protected for the rest of 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Drake, Eagles, Giants, Winston

The Lions were dealt a tough blow when they lost Kerryon Johnson to a knee injury, and they’re apparently planning on replacing him with outside help. Detroit has been “aggressively scouring the running back market” for potential trades, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Kenyan Drake is expected to be dealt by Miami in the next day or so, and we’ve already heard the Lions were interested. Robinson points out that Dolphins coach Brian Flores has a longstanding relationship with Lions coach Matt Patricia, which could help facilitate a deal. While the Lions need a running back and Drake is on the move, don’t necessarily bank on him landing in Detroit. It “didn’t sound like the Lions were close to anything on the trade front,” after speaking with a source, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • There are a few teams looking for offensive tackle help, most openly the Browns. We’ve hear Eagles backup Halapoulivaati Vaitai could be an option, and Robinson tweets that he continues to hear that Vaitai is the “most available” tackle on the market. He also notes that Vaitai had “several teams” interested in him during the preseason. Vaitai started 16 games between 2016 and 2017 and is entering the final year of his contract, so it makes sense why Philly would try and get something for him.
  • Conversely, teams might have a harder time prying Nate Solder away. We’ve heard the Browns are interested in the Giants’ left tackle, but Robinson notes in the same tweet that he’ll be a “tougher get” since the Giants are “reticent” to shakeup Daniel Jones‘ offensive line too much. The former Patriot hasn’t lived up to his massive contract, but it looks like New York will hang onto him through the end of the season.
  • Marcus Mariota has already been benched by the Titans, and it sounds like his 2015 draft-classmate Jameis Winston is going to be able to avoid a similar fate. Winston had another turnover-plagued game during the Buccaneers’ Week 8 loss, but Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times writes that the Bucs’ plan is to give Winston the rest of the season to make his case. Working in Winston’s favor is that unlike Mariota, he doesn’t have an experienced backup like Ryan Tannehill breathing down his neck. Winston’s current backup, Ryan Griffin, has never taken a regular season snap.
  • The Texans lost starting running back Lamar Miller to a torn ACL right before the start of the season, and ended up trading for running back Carlos Hyde. Although many thought Houston would be actively looking for running back help after Miller went down it was apparently the Chiefs who initiated the Hyde trade, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The Chiefs inked Hyde to a one-year, $2.8MM deal back in March, but clearly regretted it and didn’t want him on the team any longer. They landed offensive tackle Martinas Rankin in return.

Trade Rumors: Hopkins, Slay, Hooper

The trade deadline is two days away, so there are plenty of rumors to pass along. Of course, many of those rumors center around this year’s non-contenders, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that two such teams — the Redskins and Bengals — continue to rebuff inquiries concerning veterans who should be available. Rival GMs have grown increasingly frustrated with Washington and Cincinnati, and La Canfora says opposing clubs have become resigned to the fact that they are not going to be able to swing a deal with those obstinate franchises. That means that a number of big names — Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, A.J. Green, and Carlos Dunlap, to name a few — are looking more and more likely to stay put.

Now for more trade rumors from around the league, starting with another nugget out of Cincinnati:

  • Michael Lombardi of The Athletic agrees that the Bengals are likely to stand pat at the deadline for the most part, but he does believe the club will move tight end Tyler Eifert.
  • Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is decidedly not on the trading block, but teams have still called Houston to ask about the star wideout, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweets. That obviously sounds like clubs doing their due diligence more than anything else, and Glazer acknowledges that it would take an awful lot for the Texans to move Hopkins.
  • The Lions have received calls on CB Darius Slay, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It would take a big offer to pry Slay from Detroit, but in the wake of Slay’s comments earlier this week, maybe the Lions will be more inclined to move him.
  • RB-needy teams have called the Seahawks to inquire on Rashaad Penny, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports (video link). Penny is not on the block, per se, but the 2018 first-rounder is drawing interest. In the same video, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says Chargers RB Melvin Gordon could also be on the move.
  • Schefter reports that the 49ers have received calls on backup QB C.J. Beathard, whom Schefter suggests could be on the move.
  • The Falcons have fielded calls on DT Tyeler Davison, per Lombardi, but Atlanta has told other teams Davison will not be moved. The team is also going to hang on to TE Austin Hooper, as Schefter tweets.
  • The Giants are likely to cut Nate Solder after the season, so Lombardi believes Big Blue should go ahead and trade him now (though HC Pat Shurmur, whose job could be in jeopardy, would likely resist such a move). The Browns continue to be in the market for OT help, as Schefter writes, and the Patriots may also be interested in a reunion with Solder. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says Solder was not a viable option for Cleveland as of the middle of last week, but that could change in the next couple of days.
  • Janoris Jenkins is another member of the Giants who could be on the move, and while he is likely open to joining a contender, he just wants New York to be transparent with their plans for him, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes. That sentiment was also expressed by former Giants like Landon Collins and Odell Beckham Jr., who both felt as though Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman were not straightforward with them. Dunleavy names the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Jenkins.
  • Interest remains heavy on Broncos vets Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe, as La Canfora writes. Denver is open to moving Harris and Wolfe, and rival GMs expect the Broncos to make those trades happen.

Patriots Notes: Trades, Brady, Gronk

The Patriots made a couple of notable trades over the past week, acquiring wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and jettisoning defensive end Michael Bennett. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that the team is not done dealing, and his sources say New England is continuing its efforts to strengthen its offense.

Even with Sanu in the fold, La Canfora says the Pats are still expected to pursue receiver help, and although all indications are that the Bengals won’t trade A.J. Green prior to Tuesday’s deadline, rival GMs expect Bill Belichick to take a run at him just the same. As reported previously, the club is also interested in bolstering its tight end group, and Cincinnati’s Tyler Eifert and Tampa’s O.J. Howard appeal to the Patriots. Additionally, New England remains in the market for O-line upgrades, with Washington’s Trent Williams, Cincinnati’s Cordy Glenn, and old friend and current Giant Nate Solder also potential targets.

Now for more out of Foxborough:

  • Despite La Canfora’s report that the Patriots will continue to be aggressive in the trade market, Michael Lombardi of The Athletic says the Pats are not involved in any deals right now, as they are quite limited in cap room (Twitter link). The Bennett trade helped to facilitate the Sanu acquisition, but if New England is going to make another splash, it may need to cut or restructure another player.
  • For the first time in 20 years, Tom Brady‘s future is uncertain, and one of the league’s most respected reporters, Adam Schefter, recently said that Brady staying with the Pats beyond 2019 is less likely than his retiring or suiting up for another club. Another of the NFL’s most prominent scribes, Ian Rapoport, doesn’t go as far as Schefter, but he does say that Brady’s tone with respect to his future has changed dramatically, and RapSheet confirms that TB12’s 2020 plans are very much up in the air (video link). On the other hand, Schefter points out that Brady’s strong relationships with Belichick and owner Robert Kraft — which were reportedly strained not that long ago — could convince the future Hall-of-Famer to stay in New England.
  • If Brady does play elsewhere in 2020, La Canfora says the Chargers would hold significant appeal to him given his connections to SoCal and his increasing interest in Hollywood.
  • Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski recently stated in no uncertain terms that he would remain retired, but as Stefan Geller of the Boston Herald writes, that could still change. Gronk is calling on the league to allow players to use CBD products to aid in their recoveries, and if that happens, he suggested he could come back. “I also want to have the option to get back into the game, and if I’m banned next year, I can’t,” Gronkowski said. Gronkowski, obviously, is using CBD products and recently partnered with CBD Medic.
  • Tom Pelissero of NFL.com names Patriots special teams/WRs coach Joe Judge and ILB coach Jerod Mayo as two assistants who could garner head coaching interest during next year’s coaching carousel. While it would be a stretch to see the 33-year-old Mayo as an HC in 2020, especially since he just became an NFL coach seven month ago, it would not be surprising to see him get an interview.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Solder, Jenkins, Redskins

Stonewalled by the Redskins in Trent Williams talks, the Browns reportedly have interest in acquiring left tackle Nate Solder from the Giants. Solder, however, doesn’t seem to have any interest in leaving New York — not that he’d necessarily have any say in the matter. “I love being here, I love this group of guys and I love this team,” Solder said when asked about the trade rumors, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. Solder signed a four-year, $62MM deal with the Giants just last year, but given Big Blue’s 2-5 record, they could conceivably be open to moving the veteran. Cleveland, for its part, seems intent in trading for an offensive tackle before next week’s deadline and has reportedly contacted other NFC East clubs.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Speaking of Giants who could be on the move in the next week, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY spoke with NFL scouts and executives about what certain New York players could be worth via trade. By all accounts, cornerback Janoris Jenkins is the most likely Giant to be dealt, and Vacchiano speculates the veteran defensive back could reap a third- or fourth-round pick. Linebacker Alec Ogletree, wide receiver Golden Tate, and even tight end Evan Engram could all be candidates to be traded if New York decides to embark on a full rebuild.
  • Adrian Peterson is hoping to face his former team when the Redskins go up against the Vikings on Thursday night football, but he’s currently wearing the “questionable” label for Week 8, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. The veteran running back suffered multiple ankle sprains against the 49ers on Sunday, but he told Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he feels “good” and wants to play. Peterson, who’s posted 307 yards on 83 carries this year, was a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice session.
  • Giants wideout Sterling Shepard put in a limited practice today, per Vacchiano (Twitter link). Still, it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to go when New York faces Detroit on Sunday. Shepard hasn’t played since Week 5 after suffering a concussion, and he’s actually suffered two brain injuries already this year. Given that the Giants aren’t contenders, they may continue to hold Shepard out with his long-term health in mind.

Browns Plan To Acquire OT Before Trade Deadline

Browns general manager John Dorsey is targeting a number of offensive tackles to ensure the team acquires an upgrade before the trade deadline, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. Cleveland’s offensive line woes have been well documented this season, but they are far from the only team seeking upgrades via trade.

Washington tackle Trent Williams remains the obvious best candidate available. Except, while he continues to hold out with no progress toward a new contract, Washington reportedly has no interest in trading him. In the report, Robinson quotes one source who said “Dorsey has been trying to get Williams for basically six weeks.”

While Williams remains Dorsey’s top target, Robinson reports that multiple league sources have said Dorsey has been “reaching out to a swath of teams about acquiring offensive line help before the deadline.” The report goes on to mention that on top of Washington, he has contacted two other NFC East teams: the Giants and Eagles.

Less than a week away from the trade deadline, Dorsey seems primed to wait until the deadline to see if Washington changes course on Williams’ availability. If not, Giants starting offensive tackle Nate Solder or Eagles swing tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai seem like legitimate fallback options, per Robinson.