Giants left tackle Nate Solder, a testicular cancer survivor whose young son Hudson continues to undergo cancer treatments of his own is opting out of the 2020 season.
"Our family has health concerns, most notably our son's ongoing battle with cancer, as well as my own bout with cancer," Solder said in the statement.
"We also welcomed a new addition to our family this spring, a baby boy. With fear and trembling, we struggle to keep our priorities in order, and, for us, our children's health and the health of our neighbors comes before football."
Solder's decision to opt-out likely fits under the "High-Risk Player Opt-Out" category given his previous bout with testicular cancer. Under the terms of that category, Solder would be entitled to a $350,000 stipend, which is not offset by prior salary and does not count as a salary advancement.
The 32-year-old Solder is coming off a difficult season last year in which he never did quite appear to be physically healthy. Per Pro Football Focus, he allowed 11 sacks, one shy of a career-high 12 allowed in 2013 with the Patriots.
Solder's contract will toll for 2020, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to wonder if he's played his last down as a member of the Giants. New York drafted Andrew Thomas, who played left tackle at Georgia, to be their left tackle of the future, and the thought is that Thomas, who was initially projected to be the right tackle, will step right in as the left tackle.
At right tackle, the incumbent figures to be either Cam Fleming, who was signed in the off-season, or Nick Gates, who played the position last year when former starter Mike Remmers had to miss time. Gates might make more sense at the position considering Fleming has playing experience at both tackle spots and was initially viewed as someone who could provide veteran depth.
The Giants also drafted Matt Peart out of UConn in the third round of this year's draft, but Peart is believed to be in need of some seasoning before he's ready for a full-time role as a starter.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, in a statement released by the team, said they "have great respect for Nate as a person and player," and acknowledged that Solder "is doing what's best for his family."
Giants head coach Joe Judge, who is familiar with Solder from their days together in New England, added, "Ultimately, he made this decision because it is the right thing for him and his family. We support Nate and Lexi and their children (son) Hudson, (daughter) Charlie, and (son) Emerson. Our concern is for their health and well-being."
"I will deeply miss my teammates, coaches, and everyone in the Giants organization," Solder said in his statement. "I want to thank them and all my friends and fans who continue to support me and my family through the highs and the lows."
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