Nate Solder has told the Giants he will arrive this week for COVID-19 testing, beginning the most unusual training camp acclimatization process of his 10-year NFL career.
Several prominent players across the league have decided to withdraw from their contracts for this season, citing concerns about playing football amid the coronavirus pandemic, due to personal and / or family factors.
Solder, 32, must have had a difficult decision to make. Her son, Hudson, at the age of three months, was diagnosed with cancerous kidney tumors and it was a four-year battle for the Solder family. Nate, his wife Lexi and Hudson traveled from New Jersey to Boston on Tuesdays of the final season – Solder’s second with the Giants – for chemotherapy sessions.
Groups of veteran Giants players arrived on Tuesday for COVID-19 testing, starting a five-day process before they can actually get to the field to begin training camp. Solder was not part of that group – he was in Boston on a date for Hudson – and is expected to report on Wednesday.
Solder is the Giants’ player representative to the NFL Players Association and has therefore been briefed on negotiations with the league to prepare for the season while installing COVID-19 protocols. On July 10, Solder tweeted, “If the NFL isn’t doing its part to keep players healthy, there won’t be football in 2020. It’s that simple.
Solder’s intention to report, and not to opt out, is an indication that it deems the safety precautions acceptable. Otherwise, he wouldn’t put his son, with a weakened immune system, in danger.
Players can opt out and receive an allowance for the 2020 season. NFL players considered to be at high risk for COVID-19 receive a stipend of $ 350,000, plus a season accumulated to a free agency, if they opt out. . Risk-free players who choose to opt out receive $ 150,000, with no accumulated season. The players must decide to withdraw by next week.
The Patriots had six players who retired, including starters Patrick Chung (his wife is expecting a child), Marcus Cannon (he is a cancer survivor) and Don’t’a Hightower (he recently became a father and his mother is diabetic).
Teams must provide separate accommodation for a player who lives with a person at high risk. Welding certainly falls into this category.
Solder, who is expected to earn $ 9.9 million in base salary and have $ 19.5 million on the 2020 salary cap, is coming out of a tough season as a left starting tackle. The Giants in late April drafted their eventual replacement, Andrew Thomas, although for this season Solder is likely to stay at left tackle and Thomas will embark on his NFL career at right tackle.
Joe Judge, the Giants first-year head coach, was with Solder for eight years with the Patriots and recently told The Post, “I believe in Nate Solder. I’m glad Nate Solder is here. I’m very happy to have Nate on the team. “
Outside linebacker Markus Golden is dealing with some personal matters and is expected to report back soon. Golden, 29, led the Giants in the sacks last season with 10 but hasn’t found a fertile market in free will. The Giants have used the rare unrestricted free agent bidding on him, and, with no other team making an offer to him, Golden will play for the Giants for $ 4.12 million, or else have to be absent. Golden is expected to arrive, sign the tender and return to the team that helped reinvigorate his career.