Nate Solder has spent his entire NFL career with the New England Patriots. That could change this offseason.
The left tackle will become an unrestricted free agent March 14 and is expected to draw plenty of interest on the open market. From which teams, you ask? According to the MMQB’s Peter King, the Houston Texans may be leading the pack.
“I bet Houston will be all over Solder,” King wrote Monday morning. “The Texans haven’t replaced a solid left tackle, Duane Brown, after dealing him to Seattle at the trade deadline last October, and don’t have a pick until 68th overall in the third round, and so will have to make some hay in free agency.”
King also cited Solder’s familiarity with Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, who was on the Patriots’ coaching staff during Solder’s rookie season in 2011 and reportedly holds the veteran tackle in “high regard.”
For now, it appears New England still is the favorite to re-sign Solder, who King tabbed as the “best non-quarterback free agency” this offseason. The Patriots are being “quite aggressive” in their efforts to keep Solder, per King, and the 29-year-old has another incentive to stay in New England: His 2-year-old son, Hudson, currently is undergoing kidney cancer treatments in Boston.
Yet Solder is “wide open” and “will consider all options,” according to King, who notes the Texans or New York Giants could make a “crazy-money offer” to land the best offensive lineman on the free agent market. Houston also boasts one of the best cancer institutes in the country in MD Anderson Cancer Center, which could give Solder some peace of mind regarding his son should he decide to move on from New England.