EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork)- New York Giants offensive lineman Nate Solder took to Twitter Wednesday to announce that he will be opting out of the 2020 NFL season in order to protect the health of his family. Solder writes in the statement that it was a difficult decision and one that he and his family recognize is a privilege to be able to make. But, the health concerns of his family are being put first and foremost.
Here is the full statement:
“My family and I have been praying, wrestling and listening to God about our current circumstances and whether it is best that I play football this season. Our primary goal is to pursue God and listen to the Holy Spirit in everything we do. As hard as that can be and as daunting as what He asks us to do can seem, we have come to believe, trust and wait on the Lord. That is why we have chosen to pause for this season.
Our family has health concerns, most notably our son’s ongoing battle with cancer, as well as my own bout with cancer. We also welcomed a new addition to our family this spring, a baby boy. With fear and trembling, we struggle to keep our priorities in order and, for us, our children’s health and the health of our neighbors comes before football. We fully recognize that being able to make a decision like this is a privilege.
I will deeply miss my teammates, coaches and everyone in the Giants organization. I want to thank them and all my friends and fans who continue to support me and my family through the highs and the lows. As scary and bleak as it sometimes can be, we know that the God of the universe has has all things under His control, and His plans are and will always be for our good.
Nate, Lexi, Hudson, Charlie & Emerson”
The 32-year-old Solder has played and started in all 16 games in each of the last two seasons for the Giants. He signed a four-year $62 million contract with the team in March of 2018.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman told the team’s website that he spoke with Nate today and fully supports his decision.
“We have great respect for Nate as a person and player,” Gettleman said. “When he called today, I told him it is faith, family and football. He is doing what’s best for his family.”
Solder spent the seven season prior to joining the Giants in New England with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. For the last six of those seasons, new Giants head coach Joe Judge was an assistant under Belichick. Judge was looking forward to being reunited with Solder in New York, but he also said that he supports Solder’s decision to take care of his family.
“I spoke with Nate this morning,” Judge said. “We were together in New England, obviously, and he has always been a thoughtful, conscientious person. Ultimately, he made this decision because it is the right thing for him and his family. We support Nate and Lexi and their children (son) Hudson, (daughter) Charlie and (son) Emerson. Our concern is for their health and well-being.”
Solder’s son, Hudson, was diagnosed with a rare Wilms tumor in both kidneys at three months old. During the team’s bye week last season, Hudson, who is now five, underwent surgery to have a tumor removed before undergoing another round of chemotherapy.
As he mentioned in his announcement, Solder also has dealt with cancer, undergoing treatment prior to the 2014 season for testicular cancer.