Browns reportedly targeting Nate Solder to replace Joe Thomas if he retires

New Giants LB previews ‘relentless’ defense he’s helping bring over

National Football League free agents aren't officially allowed to sign with new teams until Wednesday, but legal negotiations can take place as of Monday.

Later in the day, it was reported that both cornerback Malcolm Butler and running back Dion Lewis would both be leaving for greener pastures. During the Patriots' loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Solder played very well against a vaunted Eagles pass rush, giving up no sacks in the game.

The Browns got heavily involved in the offensive-line market last offseason and might be doing so again, as they are reportedly in talks with former Patriots offensive lineman Nate Solder, according to a report from Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

Only one of five players in history selected to the Pro Bowl in his first 10 seasons, Thomas had never missed a snap in his career before he got hurt while blocking on a running play against Tennessee on October 22.


The Browns needed a starting right tackle regardless of what happened with Joe Thomas, but if he is indeed going to retire, the Browns will need a starting left tackle as well.

Still, for a Texans team coming off a 4-12 season, and with Deshaun Watson coming off a torn ACL, Solder would likely be worth it. Netting Solder as a replacement for Thomas and then potentially adding Saquon Barkley in the draft would be quite the overhaul on that side of the ball and make Cleveland's offense pretty intriguing heading into 2018. He noted the Patriots will have stiff competition in signing Solder because Cleveland has "a ton of money to play with". The Browns were $113 million under the salary cap before their recent flurry of transactions.

Solder, a 2011 first-round pick (17th overall) should a have fun-filled time fielding offers from a multitude of teams. Will the Browns be aggressive enough to get him out of New England?

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