The Giants are getting a hog molly lineman at a holy moley cost.
They agreed to terms with free-agent left tackle Nate Solder on Wednesday, a source confirmed to Newsday, outbidding the Patriots, Texans and Browns with a contract that will make Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL. More importantly for the Giants, though, the move will give them an established left tackle for the first time since David Diehl held that position in a pair of Super Bowl runs and create a cornerstone for what will continue to be the rebuilding of the offensive line.
Solder is expected to be at the Giants’ facility Thursday to visit with his new coaches, take a physical and sign a four-year contract that could be worth $62 million. Almost $35 million is guaranteed, all of it in the first two years of the deal, which includes a $16-million signing bonus and guaranteed base salaries of $5.9 million and $12.9 million the next two seasons. After that Solder will be due roster bonuses of $3 million in 2020 and $4 million in 2021.
He will count for $10 million against the 2018 salary cap.
Solder isn’t the only prominent player the Giants are adding. With the start of the league year the Giants also finalized the trade with the Rams for Alec Ogletree. As was reported last week, they sent their compensatory fourth-round pick and their sixth-round pick in the upcoming draft to Los Angeles for the inside linebacker. The Giants also will receive the Rams’ seventh-round pick in 2019.
“He gives us our defensive quarterback,” general manager Dave Gettleman said of Ogletree. “Alec is 26. He’s young, he’s under contract for the next four years. We really thought he was a great guy to add.”
The moves are the first in the redesign of the offense and defense under Gettleman and the new coaching staff.
Solder was not the primary target for the Giants this offseason, but when All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell agreed to terms with the Jaguars instead of the Giants, they turned their considerable efforts to the left tackle. In a twist, the Giants wound up agreeing to terms with Patrick Omameh, a free- agent guard from Jacksonville, on Wednesday night, his agents tweeted. Omameh, who started 13 games last year, became expendable to the Jaguars when they signed Norwell. It’s a shift that may wind up working in the Giants’ overall favor.
The Giants have had opportunities to invest in the left tackle position in recent offseasons, including last year, when Andrew Whitworth was on the market. Instead, general manager Jerry Reese stuck with Ereck Flowers, who he believed would blossom in his third NFL season. Flowers did improve, but not nearly enough for the Giants and their new regime to entertain the idea of heading into 2018 with him as their starter at the position.
As for Flowers’ future with the Giants, he has one year remaining on his rookie contract and is due to earn approximately $2.4 million in 2018. After starting at left tackle the past three seasons, Flowers may be moved to right tackle or even inside to guard for the start of training camp. His salary in 2018 is guaranteed, so it makes little sense to cut him, but there could be a trade market for his services.