New York Giants: Is Matt Peart this real deal at right tackle?

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have a competition battle brewing at right tackle, but the expectation is that veteran Nate Solder will push for the starting job. Solder, who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, is looking to make a heroic return to form after struggling during the 2019 season.

Solder allowed 11 sacks, 36 hurries, and 56 pressures, per PFF, showcasing one of his worst performances to date. However, a year off from football might have benefitted his mindset, which could lead to an improved 2021 season. While we can remain optimistic, Solder has a big challenge ahead of him, dethroning Matt Peart at right tackle; a second-year player out of the University of Connecticut vying for the starting gig.

Peart had himself an adequate rookie season, despite several factors working against him. Ranging from the loss of preseason as a result of Covid and the transition to a new coaching staff, Peart didn’t exactly have an ideal situation to help him adapt to the NFL.

Listed at 6’7” and 301 pounds, the sophomore tackle undoubtedly added size to his frame this off-season to help as a force in the running game. Improving his strength was one of his biggest priorities, and it seemed as if he accomplished just that over the past few months.

According to Patricia Traina of SI, Matt Peart looked to improve one of his more prevalent deficiencies, adding more strength to his frame:

He also needed to get stronger to improve his anchor against stronger opponents seeking to put him on roller skates. Again, this seems to be something Peart did address as he appeared to be bulkier in the upper body.

Last season, the 24-year-old tackle allowed 2.0 sacks, five hurries, and nine pressures over 150 offensive snaps. He was far more efficient in run blocking but did post a few solid pass blocking performances over a smaller sample size. The maximum amount of pass-blocking snaps he experienced was 14 against Baltimore in Week 16, in which he allowed a sack and two pressures.

However, with more muscle mass and a year of experience under his belt, Peart is expected to take a sufficient developmental leap. With quick feet and the ability to reach the second level, running back Saquon Barkley will benefit tremendously from his qualities, but his pass blocking is where things need to improve drastically.

Ultimately, Peart and Solder offer different qualities, as the traditional left tackle (only played right tackle during his rookie season back in 2011) is a more proficient blocker in the passing game, whereas Peart appears to dominate in run blocking. Depending on the Giants’ scheme, we could see a rotational approach at right tackle to start the season, and if Peart takes the jump we anticipate, he could end up starting sooner rather than later.

New York Giants: ESPN places Nate Solder on roster bubble

New York Giants, Nate Solder

Not every player that’s with the New York Giants now will make it to the regular season. This offseason is set to be especially competitive, after the Giants made a number of new additions on both offense and defense. With only so many roster spots available, it’s just simple math that some of the existing players will be displaced. What’s up for debate, however, is which players that will be. According to ESPN, former starting tackle Nate Solder could easily be one of the cuts.

Veteran in danger: Nate Solder, OT

Why he could get cut: Solder opted out last year and didn’t play particularly well the two years prior. And now it has been 18 months since the veteran offensive tackle has been in a full-contact practice or game. Who is to say his body can hold up at 33 years old after more than a year off? Or that he’s willing to go through the full grind to potentially be a backup for the first time since he was a freshman at Colorado? Only time will tell. Solder is competing this summer not only for the starting right tackle job with Matt Peart, but also a roster spot. — Jordan Raanan

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan named Solder as the veteran player in danger of a cut, despite the Giants coming to terms with Solder on a smaller contract for this season. But how much merit really is there in that prediction?

Nate Solder as a possible roster cut

Solder hasn’t impressed anyone during his time on the field with the Giants. That, primarily, is the reason why he jumps out as a candidate for a cut. When Solder’s contract was reworked, some would have preferred for the Giants to just move on from the player altogether. The fact that Solder hasn’t played for a year is only another red flag on top of his previous performance.

This all means that training camp in specific will be a big deal for Solder. It’s when we’ll get to see him moving at full speed and whether or not his play has dropped further after taking time off. Multiple interviews with Solder earlier in the offseason indicate that he’s at peace with the idea of retirement.

Given that, and the fact that Solder expressed enjoyment at the time he spent away from the game, we shouldn’t consider it too surprising if Solder is more willing to accept a cut and retire instead of pushing himself to turn back the clock. He’s already accomplished more than most players in the league, after all.

And for the Giants, such a move might not be the worst option in the world. They already know who would replace Solder if he wasn’t on the roster this season, and with the ongoing competitions at some spots, the Giants could really use an extra roster spot.

New York Giants should roll into 2021 season with young starting offensive tackle duo

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart

The New York Giants tried their hardest to rebuild their offensive line last offseason. They drafted three hog mollies in the 2020 NFL Draft, including offensive tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the first round. Despite these efforts, the Giants’ offensive line was still one of the worst in the league last season.

The New York Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below.

Entering 2021, the team has not made many positive changes to the line to improve the unit. They cut their best lineman, veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler, and failed to replace him. Not a single offensive lineman was drafted by the Giants in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the only lineman they signed in free agency was a replacement-level starter in Zack Fulton. However, the team is getting Nate Solder back this year after he opted out of the 2020 season.

Most fans and analysts have a bleak outlook on the Giants’ offensive line heading into this season. But there are reasons for optimism. In particular, the Giants’ young duo of offensive tackles from the 2020 NFL Draft should bring the team some hope as they potentially take over as starters this year and improve the unit’s performance level.

Andrew Thomas solidified at left tackle

The Giants have a serious breakout candidate for the 2021 NFL season in their second-year left tackle Andrew Thomas. There was a lot to like in Thomas’s 2020 rookie campaign, however, there were plenty of struggles throughout the year that held him back. Andrew Thomas allowed 10 sacks, the most of any tackle in the league last season. But after allowing three or more pressures in eight of the Giants’ first eight games in 2020, Andrew Thomas allowed three or more pressures in only three of the Giants’ last eight games (PFF).

Could Nate Solder return as right tackle?

Andrew Thomas is the Giants’ starting left tackle this season, no question. What has been questioned, though, is who will start at right tackle? Some fans think veteran Nate Solder should return to the starting lineup. The Giants signed Solder to a record-breaking contract in 2018. He started at left tackle for two seasons before opting out last year. Solder never really lived up to the expectations of his contract, giving the Giants below-average play at left tackle for two years.

Solder could potentially bounce back at right tackle this season. But there are factors working against that situation becoming a reality. Firstly, Nate Solder is 33-years-old and has not played football in over a year. Secondly, Nate Solder played right tackle for one year as a rookie in 2011. Since then he has played left tackle every year. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Why Matt Peart should be the Giants’ starting right tackle

For these reasons, many fans believe the Giants should roll into 2021 with a young starting offensive tackle duo. That is where second-year tackle Matt Peart comes into the equation. Peart was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the second tackle that the Giants selected in his class. Peart was limited playing time in 2020, but he did impress when he was on the field.

Matt Peart was meant to finish the season as the Giants’ starting right tackle, but injuries kept him off the field as a starter. Instead, the Giants rotated Peart onto the field to give him some game experience.

According to Paul Schwartz of the NY Post, the New York Giants coaching staff “is high on Matt Peart, who will be given the first shot at the starting right tackle job.” Matt Peart was impressive as a rookie, albeit in a small sample size. Peart played 150 snaps for the Giants’ offense in 2020. Ten of those snaps came in jumbo formations where Peart lined up as a tight end. 37 of those snaps came at left tackle. The other 103 snaps came at right tackle.

Ultimately, New York decided that Matt Peart is their right tackle of the future. Peart posted a 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade as a rookie, allowing only 9 pressures on 84 pass-blocking snaps. He did not see any time as a full-time starter in 2020, but that will change in 2021 as Matt Peart assumes the starting right tackle position. The Giants are confident in what they have at both right and left tackle. The young duo of Matt Peart and Andrew Thomas should be the bookends on the Giants’ offensive line for a long time.

New York Giants: One exciting offensive line position battle to keep an eye on

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

There are a few factors that could hold back the New York Giants’ offense in 2021, and the offensive line remains one of them. Management didn’t do much to improve the unit this off-season, after ranking 31st in pass protection last year and allowing 45 sacks on Daniel Jones. Ultimately, there are reasons to be optimistic, considering the team will hold in-person training and have a regular preseason to utilize, but based on the performance of the unit over the past few years, it’s justifiable to be objective.

The Giants feel confident at left tackle, left guard, and center. However, the right guard and right tackle positions remain a question after they released Kevin Zeitler and didn’t do much to help bolster the tackle spot opposite Andrew Thomas. They will be gaining Nate Solder back, but he hasn’t played right tackle since his rookie season in 2011.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at an exciting position battle at RT between a veteran and youth player.

Right tackle: Nate Solder V Matt Peart

Solder accepted a steep pay cut to stick with the Giants this upcoming season. At the height of his game, he was a solid starter. While traditionally a left tackle, Solder will be asked to compete at RT this upcoming year, but there’s no guarantee he will have a successful experience. At 33 years old, Solder is not only getting older, but he missed last season after opting out due to COVID-19.

Mentally, the veteran has been checked out the past few years, struggling considerably in 2019 on the left side, finishing with a 52.9 overall run-blocking grade and 66.5 pass-blocking grade, per PFF. He had a few stand-out performances, but the second half of the campaign was problematic at best.

Making the transition over to the right side will have its challenges, but Solder luckily has a bit of experience in the category and will compete valiantly for starting reps. I do believe he is a more refined player than Cam Fleming, who the Giants utilized as their primary starter in 2020, but it is impossible to predict what he will offer this upcoming year.

Peart, on the other hand, had himself a few solid performances in his rookie season, but ultimately contracted Covid, which significantly hurt his stamina. The final two games of the season were poor for the rookie out of Connecticut, but he had a few optimistic outings, specifically in the run game.

He only enjoyed 150 offensive snaps, but that essential experience should contribute significantly in his second season. He has added a bit of muscle mass to his frame, and with fantastic tangible’s, including ridiculously long arms and a solid base, he has all the physical traits to be a plus OT at the NFL level.

Again, his strength remains the run, but if he can progress efficiently and pass blocking, the Giants will not only have two starting tackles for the future but two players who are on the rookie contract, allowing them to spend in other areas without having to worry.

This is an exciting position battle to consider and watch during training camp, as the best case scenario for the Giants would be for Peart to win out and prove he can hold it down on the right side of the line. Ultimately, with expected struggles at right guard, that RT position should be even more important.

New York Giants plan on keeping Nate Solder at tackle according to report

New York Giants, Nate Solder

Some might have hoped the New York Giants would move Nate Solder to guard this season, but according to Jordan Raanan, that isn’t in the organization’s plans. That might come as a surprise to some, of course. Solder has struggled since joining the Giants and missed the last season entirely after opting out.

He’s not returning following a successful first couple of years to his Giants career. Rather, Solder will have to fight to keep a starting spot in the lineup and will make less money doing it thanks to a restructured contract.

Many thought the Giants would move Solder to guard because of these struggles and leave the tackle spot to others, but Raanan claims otherwise and says the Giants aren’t seriously considering it.

“He’ll go into training camp and they’ll move him around and look at that, but I don’t think that’s in their plans right now. I don’t think that’s something that they’re seriously considering or counting on,” Raanan told ESPN Radio’s Chris Carlin.

“He really has never played guard, I don’t think… All of these guys will play guard at some point in practice, so they might take a look at it but it’s not something they are planning on – at least from what I’ve heard,” Raanan continued.

While competing with Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart, there’s no guarantee that Solder ends up getting much time as a main option at tackle this season. The Giants were able to manage without him last season, so he’ll need to present an actual improvement to take back his old spot.

But with Solder having little experience at guard, this might be for the better. The last thing the Giants line needs is someone struggling to learn a new position.

New York Giants could roll into 2021 with an unaltered offensive line

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants are preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft, which takes place in just two weeks. The Giants did a tremendous job this offseason addressing their needs in free agency. New York signed wide receiver Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph to give Daniel Jones the weapons he needed. They also took a risk and signed cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to a big deal to solidify their secondary.

There is one area on offense, though, that went mostly untouched through free agency. Many consider the Giants’ offensive line to be the biggest weakness on the team’s roster. But, looking ahead to the draft and regular season, it appears that the Giants might not feel the same way. It seems like the Giants are confident in their young offensive linemen and expect them to thrive in expanded roles this season.

What will the 2021 offensive line look like?

The tackles

General manager Dave Gettleman and the Giants are confident in what they have at right tackle. New York went offensive line in the first, third, and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft last year. In round three, the Giants selected offensive tackle, Matt Peart, out of UConn. The rookie tackle looked like a solid contributor in his rookie season when he saw the field, albeit in a limited number of snaps. But Gettleman gave his public show of support to Matt Peart, saying he is confident that Peart can start at right tackle this season.

Additionally, the Giants are getting Nate Solder back on a reworked deal after he opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. Solder could be a key addition to the lineup, whether he ends up playing right tackle or kicking out to swing tackle. Regardless, the Giants are comfortable with what they have on the right side of the line and are unlikely to reach on a tackle at any point in the draft.

Andrew Thomas was the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft for the Giants. He had his ups and downs in his rookie season, but Thomas flashed enough and looks like he will turn into a quality long-term starter to protect Daniel Jones’s blindside.

The interior

On the interior of the offensive line, the Giants have some major question marks. New York cut their best lineman, right guard Kevin Zeitler, as a cap casualty. Now they are left with some questionable starters.

Shane Lemieux started the final 8 games at right guard for the Giants last season. He showed some potential as a decent run blocker but struggled severely in pass protection. There is a lot to like about Lemieux’s game and demeanor, and the Giants seem to be very high on Lemieux, but New York needs him to take a huge step forward to feel comfortable with him as a starting guard in 2021.

Assuming Lemieux continues as the starter at left guard, who will be the new man at right guard? The Giants potentially have that guy on their roster already. Through the first eight games of the 2020 season, Will Hernandez started at left guard, as he had the past two years as well. But Hernandez struggled a lot in the first half of the season and ultimately lost his starting position.

Could the Giants plug Hernandez back in the starting lineup this season? It is very possible that they go that route. Hernandez is a former second-round pick that showed a lot of promise as a rookie. But the Giants could potentially address the interior of their offensive line in the second round of the NFL Draft.

One position on the interior where continuity is expected is at center. Nick Gates impressed the fan base and the coaching staff in 2020. Last season was Gates’s first year playing center. Gates showed a lot of growth as the season went on and looks to be a quality starter going forward.

Why fans think the line is in need of an upgrade

The Giants seem pretty confident in this young group of guys that it has on the offensive line. But fans are skeptical. The Giants’ pass-block win rate in 2020, according to ESPN, ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win-rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. So while the Giants did upgrade Daniel Jones’s weapons in free agency, fans feel like they still desperately need to fix the offensive line in front of him. It will be intriguing to see whether or not the Giants address the offensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of this month.

New York Giants: The Athletic names Nate Solder decade’s worst addition

New York Giants, Nate Solder

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.

Who should start at right tackle for the New York Giants in 2021?

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants appear to have a position battle brewing on their offensive line. New York has its projected left tackle of the future in first-round pick Andrew Thomas. But on the other side of the line, the Giants have a giant question mark at right tackle.

In 2020, that position was manned by stop-gap journeyman Cam Fleming. Rotated into that position was also rookie offensive tackle Matt Peart out of UConn. With Fleming no longer on the Giants’ roster, many have assumed that Peart will take over the starting job.

But the Giants have a familiar face returning to the lineup as a potential starting offensive tackle. Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season but will return in 2021 and compete at right tackle along with Matt Peart. It will likely come down to a camp battle between Peart and Solder. But the possibility remains that New York adds another right tackle candidate to the mix in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Matt Peart

The New York Giants selected Matt Peart in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Peart saw limited playing time in his rookie season, playing just 15% of the Giants’ offensive snaps (150 snaps). But Matt Peart looked good during his time on the field with the Giants.

Matt Peart finished the 2020 season with a respectable 69.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade. He allowed only 2 sacks on the year and recorded an elite performance in Week 6 against Washington (89.7 PFF grade). Peart also surrendered 0 pressures in the Giants’ second matchup with the Washington Football Team.

Matt Peart flashed a lot of potential as a rookie. Albeit, he did not see the field that much. But when he was on the field, Peart’s play was impressive. Dave Gettleman also stated that he feels comfortable going into 2021 with Matt Peart as the starting right tackle. If Matt Peart can build on his rookie season with more playing time in 2021, he could solidify himself as a long-term starter at right tackle for the Giants.

Nate Solder

Veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder has not played right tackle since his rookie season in 2011. In 2012, Solder made the switch to the left side of the line and never turned back. In 2018, the Giants paid him a historically large contract to be their starting left tackle. Solder never lived up to that contract, opted out in 2020, and is now looking to play a new role with the Giants in 2021.

Nate Solder will compete for the right tackle job this season. His contract numbers have been reduced significantly this offseason and the Giants want to see him remain with the team in an undetermined role. Solder could potentially win that right tackle job. But it is possible that he gets pegged into the role of a swing tackle.

Of course, the Giants could add a new offensive tackle to their roster before the season begins. The 2021 NFL Draft will take place at the end of this month and New York could land themselves a new right tackle to add to the competition. It will be interesting to see how the right tackle position shapes out for the New York Giants in 2021.

New York Giants rework OT Nate Solder’s deal, clear cap space

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants have made another move to clear some salary-cap space ahead of the 2021 new league year. The Giants have officially reworked veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder’s contract, per Ian Rapoport. Solder will officially return in an unspecified role in 2021. The move to rework Solder’s contract has cleared salary cap space.

This move comes as no surprise. The Giants reportedly wanted to bring back Nate Solder and Solder reportedly wanted to be back with the Giants. But there was no way New York could bring Solder back at his original cap hit of $16.5 million. This is not the first move the Giants have made on the offensive line to clear cap space.

Earlier this week, the Giants cut offensive guard Kevin Zeitler to clear almost $10 million in cap space. Zeitler was the Giants’ best starting offensive lineman in 2020. His release shows how difficult of a salary cap position the Giants are in right now. The Giants placed the franchise tag on Leonard Williams which will cost them around $19-21 million in cap space. New York has to get their salary total down before the start of the New League Year on Wednesday.

The Giants have made a plethora of roster moves to free up cap space. David Mayo, Cody Core, Kevin Zeitler, and Golden Tate are the four cap casualties so far. Levine Toiliolo, CJ Board, and now Nate Solder have had their deals reworked to free up cap space but keep the players on the roster.

Nate Solder is unlikely to return as the starting left tackle in 2021. Andrew Thomas is entering his second season and should stay in that role. Solder could potentially compete for the starting right tackle position with second-year tackle Matt Peart. Matt Peart showed promise in his 2020 rookie season and general manager Dave Gettleman expressed confidence in Peart as a starter going forward. It seems likely that Solder’s role will be as a swing tackle or depth piece in 2021. His reworked contract should reflect that.

The details of the reworked contract have yet to be revealed, but this post will be updated once those numbers are reported.

Report: ‘optimism’ that New York Giants will bring back Nate Solder for 2021 season

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants recently cut starting right guard Kevin Zeitler, saving $12 million against the cap. As they try to fit Leonard Williams under the cap after hitting him with the franchise tag, it only makes sense to begin shedding dead weight.

However, the Giants still have a few pieces they can release to clear more money, and one of them is OL Nate Solder. Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, as his son has been dealing with cancer for multiple years. Being the bigger man, he chose his family over football, a commendable choice but one that put the Giants in a tough position this off-season.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports that there’s optimism Solder will return to the team in 2021, with the expectation that he will make the transition to right tackle, a position he hasn’t played in over a decade.

The New York Giants are facing more problems:

Unfortunately, the Giants have created more problems in the trenches, and while their defensive line seems to be fine for the time being, quarterback Daniel Jones may be running for his life once again next season. With a ton of cap space in 2022, restructuring a few deals and pushing the money to next season might be in their best interest, but it doesn’t seem as if general manager Dave Gettleman is a fan of restructuring. As he stated in his most recent press conference, he desires to keep contracts flat, with an average salary allocation per season, instead of spreading it out and back-loading contracts, which can hurt down the line.

Theoretically, Gettleman’s argument makes sense, but with the cap dropping and methodology changing in the modern-day NFL, it’s either adapt or die. The Giants are not showing to be very modernized in their approach, which could end up biting them in the butt.