Amid Nate Solder’s opt-out, veteran free-agent acquisition Cameron Fleming could be the New York Giants’ starting right tackle in 2020.
This past March, the New York Giants decided to bolster the offensive line unit by acquiring veteran tackle Cameron Fleming via free agency. Fleming’s exact role with the team was initially unclear until Big Blue decided to draft Georgia All-American tackle Andrew Thomas in April’s opening round. The move essentially made Fleming a backup for the 2020 campaign, as veteran Nate Solder was to retain his starting left tackle role with the rookie Thomas manning the right side.
Nonetheless, things have changed. With Solder opting out of the 2020 season amid health concerns regarding his family, Thomas will likely play on the quarterback’s blindside with Fleming becoming the plug-in option on the right. It’s a switch-up the Giants weren’t originally expecting, but newly hired head coach Joe Judge is remaining upbeat about the situation, especially in regards to the 27-year-old Fleming.
Cameron Fleming will play significant role this season. Joe Judge was asked what makes him confident with Fleming starting 16 games. "Well, I've played in a lot of big games with Cam Fleming starting at right tackle for us and we came out on the right of that."
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) August 24, 2020
An example of a “big game” would be the Patriots’ Super Bowl 52 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles when Judge was the special teams coordinator in New England. Fleming started that game as the Pats right tackle, ironically performing on the opposite side of Solder, the team’s then-starting left tackle.
During his time in New England (2014-17), Fleming started in 20 regular-season matchups with 47 total appearances. His familiarity with Judge is important, but actually nowhere near his most important connection to the coaching staff. During his two years in Dallas (2018-19), Fleming worked alongside current Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and offensive line coach Marc Colombo. The prior experience with the pair of former Cowboys coaches should greatly assist in Fleming’s overall development with his new organization.
Despite the fact that he’ll likely be performing at the least important of the two tackle spots, Fleming will additionally need to be a mentor for Thomas. The first-year player possesses a difficult task on his hands when it comes to performing at left tackle after a lost offseason and will need all the guidance possible in order to succeed.