The free agent departures continue to pile up in New England, even though free agency doesn't actually begin until 4 p.m. today.
According to NFL Network left tackle Nate Solder has decided to sign with the New York Giants.
Solder was considered the best and pretty much only high-end left tackle in the free agent market. The former first-round pick and veteran of seven NFL seasons has started 95 of 98 games in his career, including all 31 he played over the last two seasons.
Solder reportedly got four years and $60 million from the Giants.
The loss leaves a huge hole on the New England offensive line. The team's top backups from the last couple seasons, Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle, are also free agents and neither would seem to be in line for the job anyway. New England does have a couple young players in 2017 third-round pick Tony Garcia and undrafted rookie Andrew Jelks. But Garcia missed his rookie season to reported blood clots that landed him on NFI, while Jelks has missed three-straight years with a twice-torn ACL that ended his career at Vanderbilt.
The free agent class after Solder is considered quite weak, while the draft class at the tackle position also has limited options.
There are now legitimate questions regarding the protection of Tom Brady's blindside when the 41-year-old quarterback takes the field for 2018.