Ereck Flowers

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.

Giants To Release Or Trade Ereck Flowers

The Ereck Flowers saga is nearing its end. The Giants will release the tackle if he is not traded by 4pm ET/3pm CT on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets

The Giants benched Flowers before their Week 3 game against the Texans, bringing an end to his three-plus years as a starter.

The Giants, under both the former regime and the current one, have considered parting ways with Flowers for some time. They moved Flowers off of the left tackle spot this year by signing Nate Solder in free agency, but gave him an opportunity to redeem himself on the right side. Unfortunately, the results have been roughly the same, and the 2015 first-round pick’s time in New York is finally through.

Several teams were giving thought to using a top 32 pick on Flowers in 2015, but it’s unlikely that there’s much of a trade market for him today. There are plenty of teams who are desperate for offensive line help, but it’s hard to see a team giving up something of value and assuming the prorated portion of Flowers’ $2.397MM base salary.

Despite some serious buzz that led to him being taken No. 9 overall in the draft, the Miami product has yet to do much at the pro level. Last year was his best season to date and he graded out as just the No. 54 tackle in the NFL out of 81 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

The Giants have elevated second-year UDFA offensive tackle Chad Wheeler to the starting lineup in Flowers’ stead, but he is questionable for Thursday night’s game against the Eagles after suffering a hand injury. The Giants have decided to dump Flowers three days before facing a divisional rival on national television even though they might be without their projected starter, and that speaks volumes for where the former first-round pick is in his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Flowers, Gordon, V. Davis

The Giants have made the decision to bench embattled right tackle Ereck Flowers, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Rapoport notes that New York has been preparing Chad Wheeler all week, and that Wheeler will start in Flowers’ place.

Of course, Big Blue’s offensive line was a major source of concern this offseason — even though the team handed a hefty free agent contract to former Patriots LT Nate Solder — and Flowers’ track record of underperformance was a big reason for that. But the Giants do not just give up on first-round picks, so they shifted Flowers from left tackle to right tackle and gave him the bulk of the first-team reps. The team, however, is 0-2, and Flowers has not fared any better on the right side of the line than he did on the left. Although Flowers is the only reserve tackle on the roster, which means he will still be active on game days, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes that this move almost guarantees that Flowers will not be back with the team in 2019 (which was largely a foregone conclusion anyway).

Now for more from the league’s east divisions:

  • Although the Browns were certainly upset about the hamstring injury that new Patriots receiver Josh Gordon suffered while filming a promotional video and the circumstances surrounding that video, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says the real reason for Cleveland’s decision to ship Gordon to New England is that the Browns felt Gordon was still struggling to stay sober and that they had done all they could for him. Plus, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report notes that Gordon missed and/or was late to several team meetings (Twitter link). However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sport tweets that Gordon has made a strong first impression with Patriots coaches and could make a real contribution for the team against the Lions tonight (although Gordon’s hamstring could prevent him from playing).
  • Former Patriot and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com) believes that Gordon will succeed with the Patriots because of the stability and climate that New England can offer. However, if Gordon cannot make it in New England, Harrison thinks that his NFL career is probably over. It is certainly difficult to argue with that assessment.
  • The Bills are expected to go after the majority of Vontae Davis‘ $1.5MM signing bonus, per Rapoport. Buffalo may argue that, since Davis retired mid-game last week, he is entitled to only 1/17, instead of 2/17, of the bonus, and if the team does go that route, Davis may walk away with less than $700K from a 2018 contract that could have paid him up to $5MM. After all, the remainder of his $2.25MM salary voided when he was placed on the reserve/left squad list, and he earned only a small portion of his per-game roster bonuses. Nonetheless, he did earn more than $35MM during his career, so he might not care too much.
  • Some members of the Cowboys‘ front office would like to resume Earl Thomas trade talks, but Dallas is currently seen as a longshot to land the Seahawks’ star safety.
  • We learned earlier today that the Patriots nearly traded Rob Gronkowski  to the Lions this offseason.