Once one of the top offensive tackles in the league, Nate Solder faces an uphill battle to make the NY Giants’ roster after returning from opting out in 2020
Just three years ago, Nate Solder arrived to the NY Giants as the highest-paid offensive tackle in the NFL and an early signature addition during Dave Gettleman’s first season as general manager, but his circumstances entering the 2021 season couldn’t be a starker contrast from his first.
Solder, after opting out of the 2020 season in an effort to protect his young son, a cancer patient, returns in a perilous position on the NY Giants’ roster, likely needing a strong training camp to secure a job this summer.
During OTAs and mandatory minicamp this spring, Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart anchored the offensive tackle spots as they enter their second seasons since being drafted by the NY Giants in the first and third-rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The NY Giants’ commitment to getting their young tackles on the field, in hopes that they quickly develop into the kind of bookends to help keep quarterback Daniel Jones upright and clear lanes for running back Saquon Barkley to dominate in the ground game, likely push Solder down the depth chart.
That’s just fine with the 33-year-old Solder.
“Who cares who starts,” Solder told reporters during mandatory minicamp. “I just want to be a part of an excellent group that’s getting better every day that plays at a really high level and I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some great O-Lines, and whoever cares, nobody cares who is starting and who is not starting because we’re all part of the team and we’re all necessary and we’re all needed.”
Just to make the roster, Solder may need to make the most of snaps during training camp and the preseason, if he hopes to either push for a starting job or secure the role as the Giants‘ swing-tackle.
That’s because Solder’s last appearance was a forgettable one.
During the 2019 season, Solder allowed 11 sacks and 56 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. It’s fair to say that Solder’s first two seasons in an NY Giants uniform were a bit of a disappointment.
How does Nate Solder bounce back for the NY Giants in 2021?
Still, Solder has an opportunity to be a veteran leader along a young offensive line, a role that NY Giants head coach Joe Judge says the tackle is embracing.
“He’s been working hard for us,” Judge said. “He took time to get his body back going, obviously with time away from the game, take time to re-acclimate and get back in playing shape. He’s been doing a good job being in the building, working hard on the field. He’s been great with the guys. He’s obviously an older guy, brings a lot of experience and he’s been a good voice in the room.”