Nate Solder unseats Matt Peart for Giants’ starting right tackle

Comeback complete for Nate Solder. 

Solder was listed Tuesday as the Giants’ starting right tackle on the unofficial depth chart for Sunday’s game against the Broncos. It’s been 618 days since Solder’s last regular-season game and 3,502 days since his last non-preseason start at right tackle (for the Patriots against the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI). 

After Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, there was a thought he might retire. Instead he accepted a $7 million pay cut, a position change from left tackle and a demotion to backing up Matt Peart. 

But the 10-year veteran Solder outperformed the second-year pro Peart in training camp to win the job. 

Now comes the hard part: blocking future Hall of Fame pass-rusher Von Miller, who is returning to the Broncos from a missed season (dislocated tendon in his ankle) of his own. Solder has allowed 18 sacks total in two seasons with the Giants. 

Giants coach Joe Judge raved about Solder’s camp, but he also is willing to rotate tackles, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Peart and Solder share the job. If left tackle Andrew Thomas continues to struggle, he could be subbed out as well. 

New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder
New York Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder
Robert Sabo for the NY Post

The only other surprise was Oshane Ximines listed as a starting outside linebacker, ahead of rookie Azeez Ojulari. The depth chart lists tight end Evan Engram, left guard Shane Lemieux and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson — all of whom are injured — as starters. 

Memories of Teddy Bridgewater’s toughness live in the minds of two Giants for two different reasons. 

Logan Ryan remains haunted by Bridgewater playing through a broken left wrist and a sprained right ankle as he led Louisville back from an 11-point halftime deficit to steal the Big East title and a BCS bowl berth away from Rutgers on Nov. 29, 2012. 

Nine years later, they meet again Sunday, with Ryan as a Giants safety and Bridgewater as the Broncos quarterback after unseating Drew Lock. 

Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater
Jack Dempsey/AP

“He took a Sugar Bowl berth from us,” Ryan said. “Very smart guy, very cerebral, protects the ball a little better than Drew Lock, and I think that’s why he won the job. His job is to distribute the ball to the playmakers. I’ve got a lot of respect for him going back to college.” 

Tight end Kyle Rudolph was on the Vikings practice field on Aug. 30, 2016, when Bridgewater tore his ACL, dislocated his knee and could have suffered arterial strangulation leading to leg amputation if not for fast-acting trainers. The Broncos are Bridgewater’s fifth team in five years (including the Jets) as he searches to recapture his 2015 Pro Bowl form, but it’s a miracle that his career didn’t end just as it was beginning. 

“I couldn’t be happier for Teddy for his opportunity to be the starting quarterback,” Rudolph said. “He deserves it.”

“What he went through when we were together, the fact that he’s even playing football right now is a true testament to him and his work ethic.”

To create some salary cap relief, cornerback Josh Jackson agreed to a pay cut (slashing his $1.33 million salary to $920,000), and the Giants restructured Ryan’s contract to convert most of his $5.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, according to reports. 

Acquired in a trade from the Packers for CB Isaac Yiadom, Jackson surprisingly made the Giants’ roster even after he was injured during his first practice. Ryan gets paid immediately rather than over the course of the season, but his cap charges are prorated through 2023. So the Giants get more space now and Ryan gets more job security later. 

Before these moves, the Giants needed to shed $6.2 million just to get under the salary cap, according to And it’s a long way from general manager Dave Gettleman’s preferred $10 million of in-season space. 

The Giants re-signed reserve safety special teams standout Nate Ebner, according to a source. Receiver C.J. Board was cut to make room but will be re-signed to the practice squad. Ebner was scheduled to play rugby in the Tokyo Olympics but withdrew as he recovered from knee surgery.

New York Post

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