Is Nate Solder next on the chopping block for Giants?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
John Fennelly
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The New York Giants released veteran wide receiver Golden Tate on Wednesday, giving them some much-needed salary cap relief. They are currently around $4.4 million under the salary cap (depending on where you look) and have a lot of housekeeping remaining in order become players in free agency, which begins in less that two weeks.

Leonard Williams’ franchise tag alone would cost in the neighborhood of $19 million, so they are going to have to find cap space vie more cuts and restructuring of current contracts.

Who could be next on the cur list? Well, the obvious candidate is offensive tackle Nate Solder and his $16.5 million cap hit. The 32-year-old Solder, who opted out last year, has put the Giants in a financial pickle since his egregious $62 million, four-year deal was paused by the opt out. Instead of being in Year 4 of his deal, he’s heading into Year 3, which makes cutting him almost as costly as keeping him.

Still, the Giants can save nearly $10 million by releasing him but they might have to wait for that money. Giants writer Patricia Traina of Sports Illustrated mapped it out recently.

If he and the Giants part ways, New York would save $6 million and be charged $10.5 million in dead money if Solder is a pre-June 1 transaction, or save $10 million with $6.5 million dead money charge in 2021 and a $4 million dead money hit in 2022.

As I noted in my original projection, if the Giants designate Solder a post-June 1 transaction, they’d have to wait until June 2 to have access to the savings. That wouldn’t be so bad as it would be newfound money that could be used to sign their rookie class while also having some left over for the season.

Traina also crunched some numbers in the event Solder decides to retire, which is not out of the realm of possibility even though he’s stated he will return in 2021.

Assuming Solder were contemplating retiring, the Giants could lower his base salary from $9.9 million to the veteran minimum for a player with 10+ years of accrued experience ($1.075 million) in Solder’s case. That would free up $8.825 million instead of the $6 million the Giants would get if Solder were designated as a pre-June 1 transaction…Unfortunately, lowering the base salary doesn’t affect the prorated signing bonus, which would still leave a $6.5 million dead money hit this year and a $4 million hit next year if he’s designated as a post-June 1 cut or a $10.5 million dead money hit if they rip the bandage off beforehand.

So, cutting Solder will free up plenty of cap space but also leave behind a huge dead cap hit for the next two seasons. The only other option would be to have Solder play on at a lesser salary aka ‘kicking the the can down the road’ with a contract extension or restructure to lower his annual cap hit.

That is unlikely because Solder is no longer left tackle timber and the tight of having Andrew Thomas at left tackle and Solder on the right side doesn’t give many Giant fans a warm, secure feeling.

Related

Report: Giants will ask Nate Solder to restructure contract

Giants' Nate Solder intends to play following 2020 opt-out

Nate Solder named contract Giants 'wish could disappear'