Sometimes free agents work out in the NFL. And sometimes they don’t. The New York Giants have had a fair share of hits and misses during the time they’ve spent rebuilding during the past decade. But the one that takes the title of biggest miss might just be current tackle Nate Solder.
Solder isn’t the most popular player with the fans and The Athletic agreed with their sentiment when making a list of each team’s worst free agent additions of the decade. The list named Solder as the decade’s worst free agent for the Giants, owing to his massive deal followed by on the field struggles.
Dan Duggan’s take on Solder
Wide receiver Golden Tate made a strong case for this “honor,” with a four-game PED suspension and a benching for selfish behavior in two seasons after signing a four-year, $37.5 million contract in 2019. But it’s impossible to top the Solder disappointment considering the Giants made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL when they gave him a four-year, $62 million contract. Solder wasn’t very good in 2018 and then was abysmal in 2019. He opted out last season and now is back after taking a steep pay cut to just $3 million to serve as a swing tackle. Solder has been the poster boy for the Giants’ prolonged offensive line woes.
Things aren’t looking as bad as they were before, however. The Giants were fortunately able to bring Solder to the negotiating table and cut down on his deal, freeing up cap space to spend on other players while allowing Solder to play this season without getting cut.
Solder will come into the season without much in the way of guaranteed status, though. Poor performance in his last season with the Giants followed by missing an entire year has basically taken him out of the rotation entirely, and he’ll have to earn his way back in.
Just how much playing time Solder ends up with remains to be seen. But even if this season isn’t as bad as the previous ones, it’s unlikely to reverse the sentiment that the whole move to bring Solder in as a free agent was a mistake.