Nate Solder wants to play in 2021

Sport

Giants tackle Nate Solder opted out in 2020. Nate Solder is opting back in for 2021.

The veteran lineman recently told Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com that Solder intends to play this season, “as long as the situation is right.”

Solder exercised his collectively-bargaining right to opt out last year, given the uncertainties of the pandemic. He’s due to make $10 million in 2021, with a cap charge of $16.5 million.

As we heard it last year, the Giants weren’t particularly upset that Solder opted out, since it took $10 million off the books. Don’t be shocked if the Giants decide to cut Solder on or before the start of the new league year on March 17.

Last year, the Giants made left tackle Andrew Thomas a first-round draft pick. The fact that he’d apply the “as long as the situation is right” caveat to his intention to play shows that it’s hardly automatic that he’ll walk through the door and rejoin the starting lineup in New York, either on the left side or the right. And if he’s not a presumed starter, there’s no reason to carry an eight-figure cap charge under his name.

Cutting Solder or trading him would create a $10.5 million cap charge for the Giants, and thus only $6 million in net cap savings. By designating him as a post-June 1 release (or by actually trading him after June 1), the Giants would take a $6.5 million charge this year and a $4 million charge next year. That would create $10 million in net cap space this year.