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The Giants finally got their hog molly, making Nate Solder the highest-paid LT in the NFL

SB Nation logo SB Nation 3/14/2018 Jeanna Thomas

Video by NFL

Nate Solder’s been protecting Tom Brady’s blind side since he was drafted by the Patriots in the first round in 2011. Now he’ll take the field for a new team in 2018 after signing with the Giants, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the deal is for four years and $60 million.

Solder was the top tackle available on the free agent market this offseason. The Patriots must hate to lose him, but a clause in Solder’s contract that ruled out using the franchise tag on him made it impossible.

Now he’ll be the steady presence at left tackle the Giants need — or a “hog molly” as Dave Gettleman likes to call them.

What does Solder bring to the Giants?

He gives the Giants one of the best left tackles in the league.

Solder was a key piece on the Patriots’ offensive line that finished the year ranked third in the league, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics. Solder is a dominant run blocker, which is good news for their running backs. He’s durable, having missed significant time only once in his career. That was 2015, when Solder landed on injured reserve with a torn tricep.

He’s an instant upgrade for the Giants, and a reliable one.

Are there any concerns with Solder?

He’s not as effective of a pass blocker as he is in the run game. Last year he — along with the rest of the Patriots’ line — got off to a rocky start, allowing 16 sacks on Brady over the first five games of the season. Three of those were on Solder. But they pulled it together, and Solder allowed just three more sacks over the rest of the regular season.

Figuring out who will take Solder’s place just became a key priority for the Patriots this offseason.

Was this a smart move by the Giants?

Yes. They get the best tackle available and immediately improve their offensive line for the coming season, especially after losing Weston Richburg to the 49ers.


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