The New York Giants have signed some good free agents and some bad ones but one player that isn’t going to go down in the books as being worthwhile without a massive turnaround is Nate Solder. Soldier joined from the Patriots but like a number of other players that the Patriots have moved on from, Solder turned out to be past his prime and it showed immediately after he took over the left tackle spot.
Solder was, in fact, signed to help protect new quarterback Daniel Jones, but ended up putting Jones in just as much danger of being hit as his predecessors did through poor play this season… As if that fact wasn’t bad enough, Solder wasn’t even on the field all of the year, missing time with injury and further making it seem like the Giants spent too much to acquire him in the first place.
Out of the veteran signings that General Manager Dave Gettleman has made, this is perhaps the one that stands out the most as paying too much for a player that hasn’t panned out. And for those reasons, Solder was named as the team’s worst contract by Bleacher Report recently.
Solder is the only player on the Giants’ payroll slated to make more than $12.5 million per year, and his backloaded contract is a problem. He’ll count $19.5 million against the cap in 2020 and $20.5 million in 2021—both of which are high-water marks at left tackle.
There’s no way the rebuilding Giants can pay that kind of money for a player who appears to be running out of gas and wasn’t even a Pro Bowler when his tank was full. And they probably won’t, but it’d still cost them $13 million to move on this offseason or $6.5 million to part ways in a year.
Of course, there’s still some time for Solder to turn things around – which given the amount of money the Giants will owe him over the next few years, all fans will be hoping for. He may end up switching positions, but it still remains to be seen how much help that would do in the long run with Solder getting older each year and already seemingly having fallen off.
Despite the bad Solder deal, the Giants still have more cap space to spend this year than they did in the past few, giving some hope for a rebuild of the offensive line into a lineup that is actually competent. But one can only hope that the Giants haven’t learned, and that they invest in players that can win now rather than players approaching the tail end of their career.