When second-year quarterback Daniel Jones leads the New York Giants onto the field for the 2020 season, he will do so without a key piece of the offensive line. Tackle Nate Solder has announced his intention to opt-out of the NFL season. He cited his son's cancer diagnosis as the primary reason.
"My family and I have been praying, wrestling and listening to God about our current circumstances and whether it is best that I play football this season," Solder said in a statement. "Our primary goal is to pursue God and listen to the Holy Spirit in everything we do. As hard as that can be and as daunting as what He asks us to do can seem, we have come to believe, trust and wait on the Lord. That is why we have chosen to pause for this season.
"Our family has health concerns, most notably our son's ongoing battle with cancer, as well as my own bout with cancer," Solder continued. "We also welcomed a new addition to our family this spring, a baby boy. With fear and trembling, we struggle to keep our priorities in order and, for us, our children's health and the health of our neighbors comes before football. We fully recognize that being able to make a decision like this is a privilege."
According to ESPN, Solder's 5-year-old son Hudson was diagnosed with a rare Wilms tumor in both kidneys at a young age. The veteran tackle missed practices during 2019 while his son underwent treatment and checkups. Additionally, Solder was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2014. He still suited up for the New England Patriots.
Solder was set to enter his third season with the Giants. He signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the team in 2018 after spending seven years with the Patriots. He was set to earn $13 million during the 2020 season. Now, he will earn either $350,000 as a "high risk" player, as well as an accrued NFL season, or he will earn an advance on his contract worth $150,000 if he does not have any risk.
"I spoke with Nate this morning," Giants head coach Joe Judge said in a prepared statement after Solder's announcement. "We were together in New England, obviously, and he has always been a thoughtful, conscientious person. Ultimately, he made this decision because it is the right thing for him and his family. We support Nate and Lexi and their children (son) Hudson, (daughter) Charlie and (son) Emerson. Our concern is for their health and well-being."