Ereck Flowers

Release Candidate: Redskins OL Ereck Flowers

With little in the way of options at the tackle position, are the Redskins really in a position to release a former first-round pick who just celebrated his 25th birthday? The short answer is no, but it’s still possible that Ereck Flowers could wind up out of work between now and September. 

The film on Flowers is not inspiring – he failed to protect Eli Manning in New York despite being given three full seasons as the team’s starter. When things fizzled with the Giants, Flowers reunited with Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville and didn’t exactly set the world on fire in his seven games as the team’s starting tackle.

With a need at guard, the Redskins inked Flowers to a one-year, $3.2MM deal to help shore up the interior. Later, their plans for Flowers were interrupted when Trent Williams pushed for a relocation, forcing Flowers to take reps at tackle in practice.

To recap: The Redskins are thin on the offensive line, Flowers is guaranteed $1.5MM for the year, and they may need someone other than Williams to hold down the most important spot on the front five. Still, Flowers hasn’t inspired much confidence since leaving the University of Miami and the left guard spot that he was supposed to fill could be occupied by fourth-round rookie Wes Martin.

Flowers could turn things around in training camp and show the Redskins that he is deserving of a major role up front. Or, if Flowers continues his so-so spring play, he could wind up on the chopping block. If Flowers doesn’t cut the mustard, the Redskins may release him to save $1.7MM and look to the trade market for veteran help.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Flowers, Jets, Caserio

Given several chances at left tackle with the Giants, Ereck Flowers may be set to receive another NFC East starting opportunity. This one will come with the Redskins, who as of now plan to use the former top-10 pick as a starter. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan said, via Les Carpenter of the Washington Post, Flowers is pegged to start opposite Brandon Scherff at left guard. Flowers, who started 48 games at tackle with the Giants and seven with the Jaguars from 2015-18 before moving to guard in Washington, lined up back at tackle during parts of Redskins minicamp because of Trent Williams‘ absence. While the first-round bust did not fare well in the public portion of the workouts, Washington remains optimistic. The Redskins drafted fourth-round guard Wes Martin (Indiana) but appear to have him set to develop behind Scherff and Flowers.

I see a lot of potential when we’ve moved tackles inside,” Callahan said, via Carpenter. “I think it gives us size, it gives us power. He’s long; he’s square. Obviously, he can play in the short area, so those are things we kind of identified during free agency that we liked, and we are trying to fit him into that mode. So it’s been a work in progress, we got a long ways to go yet, but he’s made a nice transition.”

Shifting first to the AFC, here is the latest from some of the NFL’s Eastern Time Zone-stationed franchises:

  • Colts VP of player personnel Rex Hogan becoming the Jets’ assistant GM may nix the franchise pairing two of its GM candidates in the front office. Bears exec Champ Kelly was linked to the Jets, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes (Twitter link) the recent New York GM interviewee was the favorite for the job Hogan received. With Chad Alexander coming aboard as the Jets’ player personnel director and Phil Savage having also accepted a Jets job, the Jets are running out of prominent titles. This could keep Kelly in Chicago.
  • Hogan was still under contract with the Colts, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets, but Chris Ballard gave permission to allow for one of his top lieutenants to leave. Although Hogan and Ed Dodds were hired together, Cimini notes (on Twitter) Hogan served as the Colts’ No. 3 man in their decision-making hierarchy and will move to No. 2 with the Jets. This could put Hogan, who obviously helped the Colts in their rapid rebuild, on the GM radar in the near future.
  • Moving to a far more contentious process, Nick Caserio remains with the Patriots as their player personnel director. But with Caserio preparing to leave in 2020 — perhaps to become the Texans’ GM — Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders how much input Bill Belichick‘s right-hand man will have over the next several months. Caserio’s contract runs through the 2020 draft, per Florio, but will Belichick clue in a potentially departing exec on the inner workings of his plans? In a draft when the Patriots could be (again) targeting a Tom Brady successor, the uncertainty around Caserio may force the Pats to turn to other execs during that research process.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Foles, Manning

For a minute there, the Eagles considered tagging quarterback Nick Foles. This week, owner Jeff Lurie confirmed what had been widely rumored – the tag was considered only to stop Foles from potentially leaving for the rival Giants or Redskins (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). However, when it became apparent to the Redskins that Foles would be leaving the conference altogether by signing with the Jaguars, the Eagles opted against the move.

Foles was beloved in Philadelphia, but holding on to him as Carson Wentz‘s backup would have been an expensive proposition. Instead, the Eagles allowed him to fly away while putting their limited cap space into other areas.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • As the Giants evaluate their future at the quarterback position, they have not ruled out the possibility that Eli Manning could be their QB in 2020, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY hears. If the Giants do not draft a QB at No. 6 or No. 17 overall or trade for Cardinals QB Josh Rosen, this could be the most likely outcome. From there, the Giants would kick the can down the road into 2020, when they would (finally) select Manning’s heir.
  • The Cowboys‘ one-year deal with safety George Iloka is a minimum salary benefit contract that will count for just $735K against the cap, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. He’ll earn a $930K base salary with just $210K of that amount being guaranteed. The longtime Bengals starter is just the latest one-year addition in Dallas, joining fellow vets Randall Cobb, Kerry Hyder, Christian Covington, Cameron Fleming, Tavon Austin, and Jason Witten on deals that expire after the 2019 season.
  • The Redskins will move former Giants first-round pick Ereck Flowers from tackle to guard, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. They don’t expect there to be much of a learning curve, however. “With his strength and his size and his ability to move I think it will be a natural easy fit,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “[When] we drafted Brandon I remember they came out in the same class and rated right next to each other. Ereck was more a tackle and Brandon projected more of a guard. Both are athletic big and can move. It will be an easy transition.”

Contract Details: Nsekhe, Anderson, Dorsett

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts:

Redskins Sign Ereck Flowers

The Redskins have signed free agent offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, per Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that it will be a one-year, $4MM pact.

Washington hosted the fifth-year pro yesterday, and the club elected to pull the trigger today. Flowers, of course, was selected by the division-rival Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft, but he never lived up to his pedigree. New York cut him last October and he subsequently caught on with the Jaguars, starting seven games at left tackle for Jacksonville.

His tenure with the Giants was marred by penalties and a matador-like approach to pass blocking, and even after Big Blue switched Flowers from left tackle to right tackle, they did not see an uptick in performance. But his improved play with the Jags caught the Redskins’ eye, and John Keim of ESPN.com says the club plans to to slide Flowers inside to guard.

However, he will also serve as a swing tackle and insurance policy for left tackle Trent Williams and right tackle Morgan Moses, while 2018 third-rounder Geron Christian — whom the team prefers at swing tackle — recovers froma torn MCL.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ereck Flowers To Visit Redskins

Free agent offensive tackle Ereck Flowers is visiting the Redskins tonight, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Flowers was selected by the division-rival Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft but never lived up to his pedigree. New York cut him last October and he subsequently caught on with the Jaguars, starting seven games at left tackle for Jacksonville.

He played decently for the Jags, and surprisingly graded out as an above average offensive tackle in 2018, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. However, his tenure with the Giants was mostly a disaster, as he yielded the most quarterback pressures of any offensive lineman in the league from Week 1 of his rookie campaign to Week 2 of 2018, his last appearance with Big Blue. Even after the Giants switched Flowers from left tackle to right tackle, they did not see an uptick in performance.

But his improved play with the Jaguars has led to some interest from the Redskins. Washington, of course, has Trent Williams entrenched as its starter at left tackle, but Williams has dealt with suspensions and injuries throughout his career, and he will be 31 when the regular season starts.

Morgan Moses, the Redskins’ right tackle, has started every game for the team since the 2015 season, but he wasn’t great in 2018. Flowers could provide an insurance policy for both Moses and Williams, which the Redskins need now that their former swing tackle, Ty Nsekhe, has signed with the Bills.

If signed by Washington, Flowers would reunite with his 2015 draft mate, Landon Collins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Sign Ereck Flowers

Ereck Flowers has a new home. The Jaguars have signed the offensive tackle to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement. 

The Giants cut ties with the former first-round pick earlier this week, and it didn’t take him long to find work. The deal reunites Flowers with his one-time head coach, Tom Coughlin, who now serves as Jacksonville’s football czar. The Miami product also returns to the same state in which he played college football, albeit several hours away from Coral Gables.

The Giants made Flowers the No. 9 overall pick in 2015 for a reason – he has the right build for an NFL tackle and above-average athleticism for the position. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done much with those tools at the pro level. This year, the Giants tried to use Flowers at right tackle with new acquisition Nate Solder on the left side, but they got the same results.

To make room for Flowers, the Jaguars have placed tackle Josh Wells on injured reserve. Wells was starting at left tackle in place of Cam Robinson, who is out for the season. Just five weeks into the year, the Jaguars are primed to trot out their Plan C, Josh Walker, at left tackle. In time, Flowers could become the next player to get a shot at the job.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Meet With Ereck Flowers

Former Giants tackle Ereck Flowers cleared waivers on Wednesday and will visit the Jaguars on Thursday, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Schefter hears that other teams are also interested in Flowers and want him to visit after he’s done in Jacksonville. 

The Giants waived the former first-round pick on Tuesday after they were unable to find a suitable trade for him. The lack of trade interest was not a surprise – Flowers has yet to do much of anything at the pro level and any club willing to take a flier on him was unwilling to absorb the final year of his rookie contract.

Still, the 6’6″, 329-pound tackle holds promise, and other teams are interested in seeing what he can do, particularly given the dearth of quality tackles available. In theory, a positional change could also suit Flowers, and he wouldn’t be the first mediocre tackle to find success at guard.

Flowers’ history with Jaguars football czar Tom Coughlin may have something to do with the club’s interest in him. Coughlin coached Flowers in his rookie season with the Giants before he was ousted in January of 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Waive Ereck Flowers

The Giants have waived tackle Ereck Flowers, according to an announcement from the team. The Giants were looking to trade the former first-round pick by the end of the business day on Tuesday, but they were unable to find a taker. 

Because Flowers is not a vested veteran, he’ll hit the waiver wire, giving the league’s 31 other teams a chance to claim him. Clubs such as the Raiders, Falcons, 49ers, and others with high waiver priority will have an early crack at claiming Flowers, but that’s unlikely given his salary. In all probability, Flowers will go unclaimed, allowing him to sign as a free agent later this week.

Flowers, a 6’6″, 329-pound tackle, was taken with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2015 draft. The Giants were hardly alone in their strong evaluation of the Miami product, but things never panned out for him at the pro level. This year, the Giants brought in left tackle Nate Solder and shifted Flowers to the right side, but the results were pretty much the same. Flowers was demoted in favor of Chad Wheeler this year, and he played just 12 special teams snaps in those three games off of the bench.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Still Looking To Trade Ereck Flowers

[UPDATE: The Giants waived Flowers on Tuesday morning.]

The Giants haven’t lined up a deal yet, but they’re still hoping to complete a trade for tackle Ereck Flowers by 4pm ET/3pm CT on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. If they can’t find a suitable deal, Flowers’ agent Drew Rosenhaus expects multiple teams to be interested in his client once he’s released. In that instance, he believes Flowers would have a new home by the end of the week. 

Flowers, a former first-round pick, is in the final year of his rookie contract, and it’s hard to imagine another club giving up something of value and taking on his salary. Still, the Giants are working hard to make it happen, and they may be willing to offset the expense by including cash in the deal.

The Giants have already earmarked practice squad lineman Brian Mihalik as the replacement for Flowers, allowing them to use a tackle who is already familiar with their blocking schemes on a short week. The 1-4 Giants will look to get back on the right track when they face the Eagles on Thursday night at the Meadowlands.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.