There’s been plenty of analysis about which free agents the Patriots should retain this offseason, but another major piece of the puzzle will be extending players to either balance out their cap hit and/or prevent them from hitting free agency next offseason. Two players that are prime for extensions are left tackle Nate Solder and Julian Edelman.
Solder bounced back from a biceps tear in 2015 to hold down Tom Brady‘s blindside for the Super Bowl run. He didn’t have his best game against Dwight Freeney in Houston, but that doesn’t take away from the stability that Solder brought this season.
Solder’s cap hit for 2017 is due to be over $11 million dollars, a number the Pats would love to get down. Solder’s had two contracts with the Patriots, his initial rookie deal and then a two-year extension he signed in 2015 that guaranteed him $20 million.
He’ll turn 29 this April, so Solder still has plenty of good football left in him. The Patriots have already agreed not to use the franchise tag on him in 2018, so now’s a good time to take a look at a deal that would make sense for both sides. With the rest of the starting offensive line locked up for at least the next two seasons (David Andrews is a RFA next offseason), another two year extension that spreads some of his cap hit out would make sense for Solder.