Giants' Nate Solder unsure of football future, would 'probably' play in 2021 if given chance

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Alex Smith
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Nate Solder without helmet on
Nate Solder without helmet on

After opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, Nate Solder seems unsure of his football plans moving forward, though the veteran guard says that he would “probably” continue playing if offered another chance to play in the NFL.

In a piece Solder authored for The Increase, the 32-year-old veteran discusses his decision to opt out in 2020, saying that he wanted to spend more time around his family, especially his young son, Hudson, who had major surgery in November 2019 to remove part of his kidney and has been on and off chemotherapy while battling cancer.

“For the 2020 season, I decided to take the year off from playing in the NFL. It was reprioritizing what’s most important,” Solder writes. “Logically, if anyone came up and asked if you would give up your job for the health and safety of your family, I think we all would say “yes.” But there were other factors to consider as well.”

Solder writes that Hudson now “is doing really awesome” as he attends kindergarten, but Solder explains that he’s still unsure of what his own future in the NFL is at this point.

“The opportunity of playing in the NFL again at the age of 32 isn’t great; I don’t know what’s going to happen going forward. The amount of revenue I lost by not playing for a season was significant,” Solder writes. “The dependence I felt like my team had on me to protect the quarterback was really weighing on my heart. It was not an easy decision.”

Solder signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants prior to the 2018 season, though he hasn’t lived up to the high expectations that come along with that kind of lucrative deal.

As the Giants look to clear salary cap space, moving on from Solder seems like a legitimate possibility, as releasing the veteran would save the Giants $6 million against the cap (though it would come with a dead cap number of $10.5 million).

But despite his uncertain football future, Solder says that he wouldn’t change the decision he made to spend more time with his family last season.

“I’m in a place now where if I am offered another chance to play football, I’ll probably take it,” Solder said. “But I’m thankful for the decision I made last year for my family and community.”