Despite interest from the Cleveland Browns, the New York Giants are better off holding onto Nate Solder at the trade deadline.
The New York Giants are off to a 2-5 start and appear to be heading towards another season of selling at the trade deadline. The team certainly could be interested in adding draft capital as they attempt to right the ship under general manager Dave Gettleman.
One player who is garnering some interest is maligned left tackle Nate Solder, who the Cleveland Browns, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Cleveland is in desperate need of some offensive line help and Solder would be an upgrade for them over Greg Robinson or Justin McCray.
If the Browns are unable to pry Trent Williams out of Washington, the other LT I hear they are interested in is Nate Solder. They've already done a lot of business with the NYG, it's worth noting
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 23, 2019
While it’s understandable that the team would want to move Solder’s contract, trading the veteran right tackle right now would do more harm than good. He hasn’t quite lived up to his contract, as he’s an average lineman being paid like an elite one. However, despite this, the Giants should not move him yet.
Under normal circumstances, moving a bad contract is a no-brainer. But these are not normal circumstances for the Giants. They have a rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones who has hit a bit of a wall in recent weeks and is still searching for help from the talent around him.
Solder, while not a star, is at the very least a starting-caliber left tackle. He’s average or even slightly below average, but still a starter. Should he be traded, the Giants would need to replace him at left tackle.
Should the Giants move Solder, it would involve either Mike Remmers sliding over to left tackle from his right tackle position or Chad Slade plugging in at left tackle. Both of these swaps would be downgrades for the offensive line.
In most cases, it isn’t a terrible thing for a rebuilding team to downgrade at a position in exchange for draft assets. Big Blue isn’t likely to make a playoff push this season and they can add pieces for the future. However, this season needs to be about putting Daniel Jones in the best position to succeed.
That means the team can’t afford to downgrade on an already below-average offensive line. The Giants need to give Jones as many clean pockets as possible, which means putting the best offensive line on the field every week. Solder is currently the best left tackle option the Giants have.
Fans need to look no further than Eli Manning to see what can happen to a quarterback who spends time behind a shaky line. After half a decade behind awful lines, Manning turned into a passer who relied on check-downs and bailed at the first hint of pressure.
Jones is going to deal with pressure, as all quarterbacks do. But keeping Solder will lead to him dealing with it less, specifically from his blind side. That is very important for a rookie quarterback still finding his footing in the league.
Solder isn’t the long-term answer at the position, and Gettleman should absolutely look for an upgrade in the offseason, be it at the draft or in free agency. But until that upgrade is secure, moving Solder will do more harm than good to Jones’ development, and thus, more harm than good to the future of the organization.