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Contract decisions: Nat Borchers, for and against his staying

Four Real Salt Lake players are out of contract (read more about that here) — Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Abdoulie Mansally, and Cole Grossman — and we're wondering whether we should keep them with the team. Let's look at Nat Borchers.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Nat Borchers is a long-time Real Salt Lake player, having joined the team in 2008 and continuing with the team through some of its greatest moments.

In favor of his staying

He's a veteran player, and he's said he wants to stay. He and Chris Schuler have formed a good partnership. Additionally, a veteran presence is important when we're looking at guiding young players through, and with Justen Glad and others coming through the ranks, having a tried-and-true MLS defender to lead the way can be helpful. Finally, he seems very much the sort to make a very good coach some day, and maybe we keep that door open if we retain him.

Against his staying

He's not getting any younger. He'll be 34 next year, which is not young for any player. He's struggled a little bit this season, particularly in the middle portion (but to be fair, many players struggled during that period.)

What would it take?

We'd have to offer him a contract he wants to accept. He's a veteran, so he'll go into the re-entry draft if we don't re-sign him and haven't offered him 105 percent of his current salary.

Your take

Would you make an effort to retain Nat Borchers? The expansion draft could see him spirited away if we don't protect him, so would we be risking losing him even if we do make our plans around him? Should we be keeping Nat Borchers and his luxurious beard? Could he make a transition to coaching at this point in his career, or does he want to keep playing?