5. Nate Solder
A move that was just about universally celebrated at the time, Nate Solder’s contract should go down as one of the worst in team history (if not the worst). After being handsomely paid the highest contract to an offensive lineman in NFL history, Solder regressed into a bottom tier tackle with the NY Giants.
After allowing 11 sacks in 2019 (second-worst in the league), the writing is on the wall for Solder being just about finished as a productive player. While Gettleman has been bashed over and over for the initial move, the fact that he restructured his contract before the 2019 season after watching him play in 2018 is almost worse.
Gettleman converted $7.5M of Solder’s 2019 base salary to a fully guaranteed roster bonus, kicking the can down the road and making it exponentially more difficult to move on from the failed left tackle in 2020. To make matters worse, the team limped to a 4-12 record, making that ‘saved’ salary cap space useless as the team would have been better off signing UDFA’s to fill roster holes.
After the restructure, Solder has a $13M dead cap hit against a bloated $19.5M cap number. Before the restructure, the team would have had a $5.5M dead cap hit which would have made this an easy decision. I still think it would be worth it to move on from Solder, as the team could likely find a better player for the $6.5M savings and I can’t see how even a mid-round draft pick could do worse than he has.
He’ll likely remain on the team, but he shouldn’t, and the restructure stinks out loud.
2020 Cap savings: $6.5M
Chance it happens: 30%