Does it make sense for the New York Giants to cut Nate Solder this offseason?

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Nate Solder
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder on the field before facing the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK

Should the New York Giants consider cutting Nate Solder and pursuing an offensive line the draft?

General manager Dave Gettleman has a huge decision ahead of him in the 2020 NFL Draft. Should he select Isaiah Simmons to add a talented playmaker to the defense? Or should he play it safe and add an offensive tackle to protect franchise quarterback Daniel Jones?

These two questions have been asked consistently over the past few months, but the decision to draft a tackle would make more logical sense if the Giants cut Nate Solder. It’s not unprecedented for teams to feature rookie tackles on the right side and transfer them to the left in year two. That’s essentially what the Giants could do with a fresh tackle out of the draft — plug them in on the right side and then cut Solder in 2021, inevitably moving the second-year player to the left tackle position.

Since the latest rumors indicate that Gettleman is enamored by Tristan Wirfs, let’s assume they draft him in this scenario. The offensive line would be as follows:

-Nate Solder

-Will Hernandez

-Spencer Pulley/Nick Gates/Draft Pick

-Kevin Zeitler

-Tristan Wirfs

That’s a solid foundation to build around — signing a tackle in 2021 when Wirfs switches over to the left side would likely be the course of action.

However, there’s a belief that Solder could be a surprise cut, as Pat Leonard of the NYDL mentioned in a mailbag.

Here’s a sleeper, though I’m not telling you it’s going to happen: left tackle Nate Solder. Granted, the Giants just paid him a $3 million roster bonus for 2020. However, with his contract expiring after 2021, if the Giants cut Solder before the 2020 season, they would save almost $24 million in real cash by dodging the next two year’s salaries and a $4 million roster bonus in 2021. Solder carries a team-high $19.5 million cap hit this season and a $20.5 million cap hit in 2021. But the cash would be a bigger factor than the cap there.

Saving $3.5 million in cap space from cutting Solder this season wouldn’t amount to much in cap mobility, but if they wait one year and let him go in 2021, they would save a whopping $14 million, enough to sign a talented right tackle.

Ultimately, cutting him wouldn’t benefit the team much this year, but unloading his massive $20.5 million cap hit in 2021 is a necessity.