So, what should the NY Giants do with Nate Solder in 2021?
To me this one is simple; the NY Giants should designate Nate Solder as a post-June 1st cut in 2021, kind of like they should have done this year to get out from under this mess in the least messy way possible.
In essence, designating Solder as a post-June 1st cut would allow the NY Giants to spread his now $16.4M 2021 cap hit (it was almost $20M before, but paying that offseason bonus lowered it) over two seasons, instead of taking the brunt of a $13M dead cap hit in 2021 like they were due to if they had outright released him in 2020.
The salary cap in 2021 is really up in the air in the moment, as reliable salary cap websites such as Spotrac are using the $175M number the NFL and NFLPA have described as the salary cap floor as the actual salary cap which is a realistic scenario with all the potential lost revenue upcoming if a 2020 season is played.
Even after the Solder news happened, the NY Giants are just $7M under the 2021 cap of $175M (l think Spotrac still has some adjusting to do on those figures), although everyone around the NFL is hoping that the season goes better than expected from a revenue standpoint and the cap can at least stay put at around $200M, giving the NY Giants $32M in 2021 cap before even moving on from high-priced vets such as Solder.
I do believe GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge will take this prudent, smart approach here and realize this only truly opens up a few million dollars in cap space for 2020. If they want to use the small amount of real cap savings on a veteran at a key position, I have no problem with that.
But unloading a monster one-year deal on a free agent veteran would put this team in a very precarious situation in 2021, especially if they didn’t end up choosing to designate Solder as a post-June 1st cut.
Using that provision would allow the NY Giants to swallow dead cap hits of about $5M over 2021 and 2022, instead of $10M in 2021, allowing them to easier navigate the situation and absorb the damage over two years.
The bottom line is, though, Nate Solder is still due to be paid every guaranteed dollar he was set to be paid before he opted out, so the NY Giants need to have a plan here.
Unless the organization hits the jackpot and Solder decides to forgo his millions of incoming dollars and retires to focus on his family full-time next season, they’ll need to take the prudent and frugal approach here and look out for the long-term interests of the organization.
While adding an Everson Griffen or Jadeveon Clowney in 2020 would make a splash and boost fan morale, it’d hamper the team significantly in 2021 which needs to be avoided at all costs.