Giants' Judge, Gettleman React to Nate Solder Opting Out of 2020 Season

Lou DiPietro
July 29, 2020 - 4:09 pm

New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he was opting out of the 2020 NFL season, citing health concerns throughout his family; he is a cancer survivor, having battled testicular cancer, his son has a rare form of pediatric kidney cancer, and Nate and wife Lexi also have a newborn baby who was born this spring.

The announcement seemingly came as a shock to many, as the New York Post reported as late as Wednesday morning that Solder, who didn’t report with the team’s other veterans on Tuesday, was still expected to eventually report to camp despite the health concerns.

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Shortly after Solder’s announcement, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge – who was a Patriots assistant coach when Solder was in New England – gave statements of their own about Solder’s decision.

“We have great respect for Nate as a person and player," Gettleman said. "When he called today, I told him it is faith, family and football. He is doing what's best for his family."

Added Judge: "I spoke with Nate this morning. We were together in New England, obviously, and he has always been a thoughtful, conscientious person. Ultimately, he made this decision because it is the right thing for him and his family. We support Nate and Lexi and their children Hudson, Charlie and Emerson. Our concern is for their health and well-being."

Per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Solder likely qualifies for the “high-risk” opt-out exemption, meaning he will receive $350K this season as an “advance” on what is now a $6.5 million salary for 2021.

In addition, WFAN’s Paul Dottino noted that with the opt-out, Solder’s contract “tolls,” meaning he still has two years left under contract to Big Blue (now 2021 and 2022), and the opt-out gives the Giants an extra $16.5 million in salary cap space this year; Solder was scheduled for a $19.5 million cap hit, but now would only count for the $3 million roster bonus he had already received.

The Giants, according to Dottino, can also carry that cap space over to next season.

Regardless, now that he has opted out, Solder cannot choose to reverse his decision, and he will miss the 2020 NFL season.

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