The New York Giants have finally made a move to address the offensive line, reaching an agreement with free agent tackle Nate Solder.
The #Giants are signing LT Nate Solder to a 4-year deal worth $62M, source said, with $35M guaranteed. The highest paid OL in the NFL. ???
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2018
The news comes a day after the Giants missed out on former Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell, who was widely expected to join general manager Dave Gettleman at MetLife Stadium before signing a five-year, $65.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Solder, who will be entering his age-30 season in 2018, has spent his entire seven-year career protecting Brady’s blindside. The six-foot-eight, 325-pound behemoth was arguably the best free-agent tackle on the market.
He brings a wealth of experience to the Giants, having appeared in 98 regular-season games, starting 95 of them. He’s also started in 15 playoff games (four Super Bowls), including Super Bowl 46 against the Giants.
For all of his success, Solder, surprisingly, has never been selected to a Pro Bowl, though he was named an alternate for last season’s game. With the Patriots in the Super Bowl, however, he didn’t make an appearance.
While his addition is a big step in the right direction for the Giants, Gettleman and company still have work to do. Solder alone can’t fix the issues that have surrounded an atrocious offensive line that, for years, has been a major weak spot.
Brett Jones figures to be the team’s starting center, especially in the wake of Weston Richburg‘s reported defection to the San Francisco 49ers, while—gasp—Ereck Flowers could slot in at right tackle.
Still, the Giants need a pair of starting-caliber guards (sorry John Jerry, you’re not that) and could certainly use some additional depth up front. It will be interesting to see whether they continue to address that in free agency or wait until April’s NFL Draft.