Nate Solder

Details On Nate Solder’s Reworked Deal With Giants

When we learned that the Giants were set to rework Nate Solder‘s contract, pretty much everyone expected that the team would save a small chunk of money. However, the veteran lineman’s new deal will actually see him take a significant pay cut.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that Solder’s 2021 salary has been reduced from $10MM to only $3MM, leading to a $9.5MM cap charge (ultimately saving the organization $7MM). Solder’s 2022 deal was also reduced to $3MM, none of which is guaranteed, and his cap hit will drop from $18MM to $7MM. So, at the end of the day, Solder basically committed to a new two-year, $6MM deal with $3MM in guaranteed money.

Solder opted out of last season but had expressed a desire to play in 2021. The 6-foot-8 tackle was previously attached to a $16.5MM cap number after his contract tolled from 2020. Outright releasing the lineman never seemed like a logical option for the Giants, as it would have left the organization with $10.5MM in dead money.

New York signed Solder to a massive four-year, $62MM deal in 2018, and he’s been a pretty big disappointment for that hefty contract. They almost traded him in 2019, but nothing got done. While his production has gone down, Solder still started each of his 32 games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, playing in at least 95-percent of his team’s offensive snaps per year.

There’s a chance that Solder sees mostly a backup role in 2021. The team’s rostering 2020 No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas, and they got some surprising production from third-round pick Matt Peart last season.

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Giants, Nate Solder Finalizing Reworked Deal

The Giants are on track to have Nate Solder back for the 2021 season. They are finalizing a reworked deal for the veteran left tackle, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

Solder opted out of last season but expressed a desire to play in 2021. The 6-foot-8 tackle is attached to a $16.5MM cap number, after his contract tolled from 2020. That number will be coming down.

This process has been in the works for a bit now. Despite the Giants’ big-ticket free agency deal with Solder not working out to their liking, the former first-round pick would have cost the team $10.5MM in dead money to release. (A post-June 1 cut would have been in play as well, given the circumstances.) The team just used its franchise tag on Leonard Williams for the second straight year, and Dalvin Tomlinson remains in the picture to be re-signed. Carrying a $16.5MM cap figure for a middling tackle would be an impediment to the Giants’ free agency plans.

It will now be interesting to see how the Giants configure their offensive line. They used 2020 No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas at Solder’s left tackle position last season. Prior to Solder’s opt-out decision, the tentative Big Blue plan was for Thomas to begin his career at right tackle during what was expected to be Solder’s final year as a Giant. Solder played right tackle as a rookie with the Patriots but has spent the bulk of his career on the left side.

New York worked in third-round pick Matt Peart at right tackle for stretches last season; the UConn product played 15% of the Giants’ offensive snaps in 2020. It is certainly possible Peart continues to be a contributor, but Solder returning would place the second-year blocker on track to be a backup again.

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Giants Optimistic About Nate Solder Return

The Giants cut Kevin Zeitler this week, and many people have been expecting another big name offensive lineman to follow him out the door. However, it sounds like veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder might be spared amidst the cap casualty onslaught.

There is now optimism within the organization that Solder will play for the Giants in 2021, a source told Dan Duggan of The Athletic (Twitter link). Duggan notes that the sides are “still working out the terms,” so it sounds like Solder’s contract is going to be restructured. In all likelihood, that means Solder will be taking a pay-cut.

He had been scheduled to carry a $16.5MM cap hit for this season. New York has been needing to clear space in order to bring back guys like defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson, and many pointed to a Solder cut as an obvious way to save money.

The Giants are indeed talking “restructured numbers” with Solder, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post confirmed in a tweet. A source told Dunleavy that it never reached that point with Zeitler, meaning Zeitler was a goner from the beginning despite some speculation that he could restructure as well.

New York signed Solder to a massive four-year, $62MM deal in 2018, and he’s been a pretty big disappointment for that hefty contract. They almost traded him in 2019, but nothing got done. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, so he still has two more years left on that deal. He confirmed in February that he’s planning on returning for the 2021 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ Nate Solder Plans To Play

Count Nate Solder among the 2020 opt-outs who will return in 2021. The Giants veteran tells ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (Twitter link) that he plans to play, “as long as the situation is right.” 

Solder’s decision doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he’ll be back with the G-Men, however. After his 2020 commitment tolled, he’s scheduled to make $10MM and count for $16.5MM against the cap. That’s a lot of money, especially with 2020 first-round left tackle Andrew Thomas in the fold.

Instead, the Giants can trade or cut Solder outright to save $6MM against the cap. If they trade him in the summer or make him a post-June 1 release, they can spread out the dead money hit to create $10MM in breathing room this offseason. In that event, they’d have $6.5MM in dead money this year and $4MM in 2021.

The Giants signed Solder to a then-record four-year, $62MM deal in 2018. He was the centerpiece of GM Dave Gettleman‘s offensive line overhaul, but he did not live up to the contract in his first two seasons. Now, the 6-foot-8 veteran could wind up making his return elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.