He quickly disposed of right tackle Bobby Hart, signed Halapio, assigned a second-round tender to keep center Brett Jones, a restricted free agent, and hustled to get Solder's deal done after missing out on Norwell. Solder being the highest paid offensive lineman will set him up for a future of financial stability, especially considering the fact that he is 29-years-old.
Solder had spent all seven seasons of his career in New England after the franchise selected him No. 17 overall during the 2011 draft. As with Butler, Lewis also felt some discontent toward the Patriots after he started the season fourth on the running back depth chart and then played only 21 snaps in the Super Bowl. Just as Brady enjoyed having Solder protect his blind side, Manning should similarly benefit from this signing.
Although the Patriots wanted to bring back Amendola, they couldn't afford his two-year, $12 million deal.
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There are really no intriguing options at left tackle in free agency. Connor Williams, Mike McGlinchey, Orlando Brown, and Kolton Miller likely have the best chance of earning a starting left tackle role at the next level.
The signing doesn't mean Big Blue will move on from Flowers.
Solder played in every game last season, suring up a line that was oft-injured in 2017.
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The New Orleans Saints pursued Butler as a restricted free agent a year ago, but the trade price was too high. At 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, Flowers looks more like a tackle than a guard, but players with his size and bulk have made the transition. The Patriots even could package picks to move up in the draft.
A quick aside: What a play by Solder and his agents.
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Aside from the gaping hole left in the Patriots offensive line, Foxboro will feel the impact of Solder's loss in many other ways.