One of the many tasks for the New York Giants this offseason is finding a new starting left tackle. It’s time for an end to the Ereck Flowers experiment at left tackle.
When the Giants took Flowers in the first-round in the 2015 draft (ninth overall) they were hoping that he would be their left tackle for the next decade and protect Eli Manning’s blindside, and the blindside of Manning’s eventual successor.
But after a decent rookie season in 2015, he has regressed and is one of the reasons Manning has looked uncomfortable in the pocket over the last few seasons.
It has become painfully obvious that Flowers does not have the makings of a solid left tackle, and he has often been the scapegoat for the Giants offensive woes over the last two seasons.
The only real positive you can give Flowers is that he’s started 46 out of a possible 48 games in his three seasons with Big Blue.
So where does this leave the Giants? Flowers who turns 24 in April still has one year left on his contract and has a cap hit for this season of $4.579 million according to Spotrac. So it’s unlikely that he’ll be cut.
General manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur are committed to rebuilding the offensive line and are in desperate need of a quality left tackle.
Left tackle is arguably the second most important position in the NFL behind the quarterback, and when your franchise quarterback is 37, it’s imperative that you have a quality left tackle to protect him.
The list of quality free agent tackles is thin this year, but there is one left tackle that could be available he would make the Giants line instantly better and his name is Nate Solder. Solder was taken by the Patriots in the first round of the 2011 draft (17th overall) has played all of his seven seasons with the Patriots and has started in 95 of the 98 games he’s appeared in.
The only injury concern for Solder was when in tore his right bicep and was lost for the season in the Patriots week 5 30-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Since then he’s been healthy starting 31 out of a possible 32 games.
Solder is still in the prime of his career as he will turn 30 in April. So he can be the Giants left tackle for several years to come. His arrival would also give the Giants a chance to try to move Flowers to right tackle and try to salvage the last year of his contract.
He would also bring a championship pedigree to Big Blue having played in four Super Bowls and winning two of them in Super Bowls 49 and 51. Having championship experience such as this is invaluable to a locker room and can help change the culture of the Giants locker room which was chaotic last year.
Solder would be a perfect fit for the Giants; they just have to hope the Patriots don’t offer him the franchise tag or a contract too big for them to match.