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Buffaloes in NFL: Nate Solder plans to return in 2021 after opting out due to COVID-19

Despite returning to the field, the tackle’s future in New York remains uncertain

Green Bay Packers v New York Giants Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Giants are expecting to have Nate Solder back in the fold for 2021 after he opted out due to COVID-19, according to various reports.

One of the NFL’s highest-paid left tackles has two years remaining on his four-year, $62 million contract he signed in 2018. The Giants may be looking to restructure the deal with Solder due a $4 million roster bonus and a scheduled cap hit of $16.5 million next year.

The former Colorado Buffaloes standout was an original first round pick of the New England Patriots in 2011. Solder won two Super Bowls protecting Tom Brady during the course of seven seasons in Foxborough. Since leaving the Pats, he has started all 32 games for the Giants with the exception of last season.

According to CBS Sports, Solder allowed a league-high 56 pressures and 11 sacks two years ago, prompting the Giants to select Andrew Thomas from the University of Georgia with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

If the Giants choose to part ways with Solder, they would save $6 million in cap space by releasing him. Once the league’s official salary cap is set for 2021, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman will have to make a decision on Solder’s future with the team.

Due to family concerns, the forever Buff was one of many NFL players to opt out of the 2020 season. Both Solder and his oldest son, Hudson, have battled cancer. He and his wife, Lexi, also welcomed a new child to their family over the past year.