nate solder giants
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran tackle Nate Solder will be returning to the Giants in 2021 after opting out of this past season due to coronavirus concerns.

Nate Solder is back, whether you like it or not.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Giants and Solder, a veteran offensive tackle entering his third season with the team, have agreed to a restructured contract. Solder opted out of the 2020 campaign due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The financial details have yet to be revealed.

Solder’s original contract (four years, $62 million) that he signed with Big Blue back in 2018 carried a $16.5 million cap hit for this coming season. The Giants would’ve saved $6 million if they parted ways with Solder ($10.5 million dead cap charge) but have ultimately decided to roll the dice with him.

And no, this isn’t the right decision.

For one, Solder is only getting older and entering his age-33 season. He’d also need to play the right tackle position, a spot he hasn’t spent much time at throughout his career. Solder has mainly been a true left tackle but it wouldn’t be in the Giants’ best interest to move pending second-year player Andrew Thomas away from that spot.

And not only has he not played in two years, but he additionally struggled mightily during the 2019 campaign, having allowed 11 total sacks (third-most among tackles measured by Pro Football Focus).

The Giants would’ve benefitted from just cutting him. Sure, the new numerical values within the contract will help the organization in regard to its limited salary cap space ($3.1 million as of Saturday), but $6 million saved would’ve been crucial towards the potential re-signings of Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson along with the possible move to acquire a true No. 1 wideout in free agency.

Regardless of what the financial details end up encompassing, the Giants should’ve either re-signed right tackle Cameron Fleming, signed another tackle to be a cheap stopgap option, or moved forward with pending second-year tackle Matthew Peart.

At this moment in time, there’s little-to-no benefit to employing Solder, and if he eventually makes the final roster and starts when training camp and the preseason conclude, the Giants offensive line may not be in the best shape.

The unit may now include Thomas and Solder at the two tackle spots, Nick Gates at center, and Shane Lemieux at one of the guard spots. The other guard role is currently vacant amid the recent release of Kevin Zeitler.

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