The Giants could part ways with their veteran offensive tackle for financial purposes.
Ah yes, the post June-1 cut.
It’s a move some NFL teams may use on an expensive player they believe is no longer capable of living up to their lucrative contract; a move you could see a number of teams make this coming week.
An organization is allowed up to two players it could designate as post-June 1 cap casualties. The Giants, however, employ one specific individual who could find himself back on the market — offensive tackle Nate Solder‘s tenure in East Rutherford may be concluding after he signed with the team back in 2018.
Why cutting Solder makes sense
Solder is returning to the Giants on a restructured contract after opting out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The veteran has been present at OTAs and is looking to compete to be the team’s starting right tackle — his main competition will be second-year man Matthew Peart while 2020 first-round pick Andrew Thomas mans the left side.
The problem, however, is Solder is still expensive even on a restructured deal — obviously a tough situation for the organization when he may end up just being a reserve swing tackle.
At the moment, Solder’s contract includes a 2021 cap hit of $9.5 million and dead cap charge of $13.5 million. Designating him as a post-June 1 cut would shrink that dead money for the 2021 league year to $9.5 million though, per OverTheCap.
Trading him after June 1 would bring the dead money charge to $6.5 million, but it’s unclear if the Giants would be able to locate a legitimate suitor given his increasing age and declining skill.
Why keep him?
Ideally, the Giants would like to employ an experienced veteran on their offensive line — especially considering Big Blue’s young unit (Thomas, Peart, and guard Shane Lemieux are entering their second NFL seasons, guard Will Hernandez is entering his fourth NFL season, and center Nick Gates is heading into his second full year at his specific position).
Solder could be that mentor for the group, but you also need to take into account the Giants are likely believing in player development and continuity with the offensive line. This is why the organization passed on taking a lineman with any of their six draft picks this offseason.
However, Peart could see more time than Solder given the former was around with this group last year. And, if that realistically becomes the case, the Giants may be reluctant to keeping Solder as a backup at his price.