The New York Giants had problems at multiple positions and all across the board last season, but the one glaring deficiency was at left tackle, where former No. 1 pick Ereck Flowers played doormat for opposing lineman and had Eli Manning running for his life early and often last season.
As the Giants attempt to re-stock and rebound from one of the worst seasons in franchise history, reports say they have found Flowers’ formidable replacement. In fact, they got the No. 1 lineman on the free agent market in former Patriots left tackle Nate Solder.
@Giants expected to sign OT Nate Solder to four-year, $62M deal: https://t.co/HNCvf56zU7 (via @RapSheet)
Solders skills were on full display in the Super Bowl, as the Eagles didnt touch Tom Brady until that crucial sack in the fourth quarter.
The Giants are giving Solder a four-year contract worth $62 million. The deal makes him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL, but his presence immediately upgrades a porous Giants offensive line.
Solder was the top left tackle on the open market, and arguably the only one worth big cheddar. He was ranked No. 14 on NFL.com’s Top 101 Free Agents of 2018. Therefore, when he became available the Giants pounced.
The Giants didnt have as much cap space as they did in 2016 when former GM Jerry Reese went on a spending spree in an attempt to sign high-priced free agents who would quickly put them back in playoff contention after a 6-10 season. But they were, however, willing to commit almost a third of their cap capacity to locking down Solder.
Nate Solder’s 4-year, $62 million deal with the Giants included a $16M signing bonus. His $10 million cap hit is more than a third of what the Giants had available to spend.
This new Giants regime is entering the mix off a 3-13 season, but they refuse to panic. Instead of committing to a high-priced quarterback at No. 2 in this upcoming draft, the they are keeping their options open and putting pieces around veteran QB Eli Manning, who seemed on his way out of New York as last season ended.
The Giants also upgraded a weak running game by signing veteran workhorse James Stewart, the Carolina Panthers’ career rushing leader with 7,318 yards and 1,699 carries. His 51 rushing touchdowns rank second in team history to quarterback Cam Newtons 54.
Linebacker was another position of need, so Big Blue added 6-2, 235-pound Alec Ogletree from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a pair of late round choices in the 2018 NFL draft.
Devon Kennard, who played in 15 games last season and 52 in four years, and veteran Jonathan Casillas are free agents. Injuries limited second-year pro B.J. Goodson to seven games.
The 26-year-old Ogletree led the Rams in tackles in four of his five seasons in the NFL since being drafted in the first round in 2013. He has started all 67 regular-season games in which hes played – 31 at middle linebacker and 36 outside. His career totals include 645 tackles (475 solo), 5.5 sacks, six interceptions (including two returned for touchdowns), 43 passes defensed, 12 forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The Giants officially announced the Alec Ogletree trade. GM Dave Gettleman touts him as “our defensive quarterback.
The trade leaves the Giants with five selections in the 2018 draft one in each of the first five rounds and the potential to address every crucial need on the team.