The New York Giants signed Nate Solder to a 4-year, $62 million contract in March of 2018. He has shown the last two years that his play is not worth the money he was given. He was supposed to be better than former 1st-round bust Ereck Flowers. Unfortunately, during his Giants tenure, he was average at best.
After only allowing one sack in the better half of 2018, Solder dropped the ball in 2019. Along with getting used to a new rookie quarterback (Daniel Jones), Solder gave up 11 sacks and 57 pressures. Solder’s 11 sacks were second-worst in the league.
The Giants drafted Andrew Thomas out of Georgia to eventually replace Solder at left tackle. Since COVID-19 has swept the world, the team has been unable to get back on the football field for any camps.
Recently, the NFL has been trying to work with the NFLPA on an opt-out option much like the MLB. The (would-be) opt-out option includes the option to not play in the 2020 NFL Season if a player feels unsafe and the player will get his full salary for 2020. The NFL has been cracking down and administering restrictions for the upcoming 2020 season.
Nate Solder posted this on his twitter account about the current situation (@soldernate): “If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple.”.
Why Is Opting Out A Bad Choice for Solder?
Solder’s situation, as well as the rest of the players’ situation regarding a 2020 season, is fully understandable. COVID-19 is a serious illness. However, his career situation with the Giants could be in lava if he chooses to opt-out.
Solder is projected to be a starting tackle this year. Whether he plays the left or right side, he is likely to start Week 1 vs the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Matt Peart will likely not be ready, Nick Gates could compete to play guard or center and Cameron Fleming will most likely stay the swing tackle because he does not have more experience than Solder does.
The turnout could be that the Giants stay with Nate Solder for one more season and let him go in 2021. His cap situation is too tough for his release right now, having a $19M cap hit and a dead cap casualty not worth the eating.
Solder also remains a better tackle (right or left) than anyone on the roster besides Andrew Thomas. The Giants could slowly ease Nick Gates or Matt Peart into the right tackle role and slide Thomas to the left side with Solder’s veteran help.
However, if Solder opts out of 2020, things will look different going into 2021. The Giants would likely have Thomas at left tackle and the rookie Matt Peart at right tackle. With Nick Gates or someone else as a swing tackle, there would be no spot for Nate Solder.
The cap savings would favor the Giants and they would ultimately release him at that point.
Future after New York?
Other teams would not be too keen on signing Solder to be a piece on their offensive line either. Solder would be 32 going on 33 next free agency and with the league getting younger, he would not have any help.
If Solder opts-out, teams interested would ultimately look back at the last year he played, 2019. His worst career season.
So if Giants’ offensive tackle Nate Solder wants to opt-out, it is his choice. But he should think twice, knowing what type of consequences are waiting for him when he returns to football.
Embed from Getty Images