New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder is expected to depart in free agency. This is an opportunity for the Texans to improve their team while poaching a player from a Super Bowl caliber team. Solder would instantly upgrade the Houston offensive line and make things easier for their offense.
An integral part of the Patriots offensive line, Solder has been very durable throughout his career. The only injury of note is a torn bicep in 2015 which resulted in Solder missing the final 12 games of the season. A bout with testicular cancer did not keep Solder off the field in 2014 as he started every game. While cancer is something to keep an eye on, there has not been any cause for concern since.
Pro Football Focus grades Solder’s 2017 campaign as average and ranks him as the 32nd best tackle. While it may seem that there are better options available, the fact is there is not. Solder is certainly better and younger than Chris Clark who spent the majority of the season as the Texans starting left tackle. It is worth noting that Clark is also a free agent. Clark is a player the Texans should move on from by signing Solder.
Solder will be 30 by the time the 2018 season starts. This is worth mentioning since it is important to keep in mind that he only has a few more years of high performance left. Solder is a great option as the Texans work to develop their team. Further down the line a replacement for Solder will be necessary. However an upgrade at left tackle is a necessity. The Texans cannot afford to keep their franchise quarterback unprotected. Ensuring that Watson has time to survey the field will allow the offense to score proficiently. Keeping Watson upright is integral to the success of the team right now and further down the line. Signing Solder now can have an effect on the Texans franchise for years to come.