Giants' Nate Solder Plans to Play Next Season After Opting Out in 2020

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2021

New York Giants Nate Solder (76) on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Eagles won 34-17.(AP Photo/Vera Nieuwenhuis)
Vera Nieuwenhuis/Associated Press

New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder plans to play in 2021 after opting out of the 2020 NFL season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Solder told ESPN's Jordan Raanan his intentions but said he hasn't spoken with the team about his future.

Per Raanan, Solder was considered a "high-risk opt-out" last season. Solder was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2014. His eldest son was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and Solder and his wife also welcomed a second son last year.

It remains to be seen whether the Giants will retain Solder, who will count heavily against the salary cap should he return to the team.

He is set to make $10 million in 2021 with a $16.5 million cap hit, per Spotrac. The Giants could save $6 million by releasing him or $10 million by designating him as a post-June 1 release.

Solder is a highly accomplished tackle who won two Super Bowls during a seven-year stint with the New England Patriots before joining the Giants.

The 2011 first-round pick out of Colorado has never been named a Pro Bowler, but he has long been a reliable starter with 127 regular-season starts and 16 career playoff starts to his credit.

Perhaps the biggest thing working against Solder aside from his salary is the fact that the Giants invested so heavily in the offensive tackle spot in last year's draft. In addition selecting Andrew Thomas with the No. 4 overall pick, the Giants took Matt Peart in the third round.

Thomas struggled during his rookie season but still made 15 starts, while Peart appeared in 11 games and made one start.

If the Giants decide to part ways with Solder, he would become one of the more sought-after offensive tackles on the free-agent market given his experience and championship resume.