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HomeNFLGiants’ Nate Solder feels wholesome, recovered after opting out in 2020

Giants’ Nate Solder feels wholesome, recovered after opting out in 2020

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One of the least covered backstories at New York Giants training camp this summer is the return of veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder.

The former New England Patriots stalwart who came the Giants in 2018 as one of the more over-the-market free agent signings in recent memory is back and healthy after opting out of the 2020 season with COVID-19 concerns.

The 33-year-old Solder is in a camp battle with second-year tackle Matt Peart for the starting right tackle job, but is fine with his role however the outcome.

“You know, I don’t think the competition is just between the two of us. I think it’s a team competition,” Solder told reporters. “I think that they want the best 11 football players out there and I’m working to, if not be one of those, make those guys the best, you know what I mean? So that’s my job, my role is just to go out there every day and be the best that I can be and help make others that way, too.”

Solder claims to be healthier than ever after the opt-out allowed his body to heal up and recover from a decade in the trenches.

“I don’t feel younger, but I do feel great. My body feels recovered, healthy. I think there is a cumulative toll that playing every season takes on you, so actually having that time to let some of those bumps and bruises kind of heal up has been a good thing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Solder is impressed with Peart, who he called “smart and tough” and is willing to do what it takes to continue his professional career. Solder reworked his massive contract earlier this year, lowering his cap hit from a prohibitive $16.5 million to $9.5 million allowing the Giants to spend more on other players in free agency.

Solder is familiar with head coach Joe Judge as his way of doing things. On Tuesday, after a team brawl interrupted the team’s workout and cost them valuable field time, Judge had the team go through sprints and calisthenics as a penalty. It did not shock Solder one bit. He knows Judge is a guy who means what he says and sticks to his principles.

“The great thing about Joe, and I have tremendous respect for him and what he’s all about, he’s the same guy that I’ve always known. I don’t think that he’s trying to put on airs. I don’t think he’s trying to be anything that he’s not,” Solder said. “He’s exactly who he says he is and that’s just his integrity and I think that’s shown through in the last week that I’ve been here.”

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