nate solder
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Solder is heading out of East Rutherford.

For the first time in nearly four years, Nate Solder is not a Giant.

Dave Gettleman, in a 2018 move that proved to be an absolute waste (both from a time and financial standpoint), inked the veteran offensive tackle to a four-year, $62 million contract. The deal, at the time, made Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL. Nate subsequently struggled on either side of the line and was a huge reason for the Giants’ offensive issues during what’s been a dark era of Big Blue football.

But now, he’s gone. Solder’s contract, which was restructured last year after he opted out of the COVID-impacted 2020 season, voided Wednesday. He is a free agent.

The Giants will need to deal with that $4 million in dead money next season, but regardless, it was time to rid themselves of Solder and his services. It’s clear he wasn’t any sort of answer at right tackle while Andrew Thomas mans the left side. Given his age (34 in April) and declining skill, Solder wasn’t even worth keeping around as a reserve swing tackle.

Signing Solder was one of the first moves of the disastrous Dave Gettleman era, and it proved to be one of the worst (which is certainly saying something, considering Gettleman’s memorably horrendous tenure as Giants GM).

Andrew Thomas’ surgery

In other news, left tackle Andrew Thomas underwent ankle surgery in January, according to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan.

Thomas is coming off a strong 2021 season that followed a below-average 2020 rookie campaign. Calling him the Giants’ top offensive player of this past year isn’t saying a whole lot (I mean, Big Blue did finish 31st in total yards and points for crying out loud). Nevertheless, Thomas was the clear-cut team MVP on that side of the ball and is looking like New York’s left tackle of the future (at least we hope).

Even if Thomas is fully ready by the commencement of the offseason program (the Giants can begin workouts on April 4), easing him along the way would be the appropriate move. The team cannot risk any sort of injury to Andrew, who missed four games this past year (one due to a foot injury, three due to an ankle injury).

Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY

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Ryan Honey is a senior NFL analyst, betting writer, and podcaster for Elite Sports NY. He hosts the Wide Right Podcast, which serves as both a New York Giants podcast and sports betting show.