Ereck Flowers

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.

Giants Notes: McAdoo, McIntosh, Beal, Bettcher

Ben McAdoo has been fairly quiet ever since he was fired by the Giants midway through last season. Not anymore. McAdoo opened up in a recent interview with Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, dishing on a number of topics related to his old team. McAdoo talked about how excited he is for the Giants and how much he likes the vision being implemented by new GM Dave Gettleman. He even said he thinks the Giants are going to win the NFC East in 2018.

The most notable part of McAdoo’s interview may be his comments on offensive tackle Ereck Flowers. McAdoo was blunt in talking about Flowers’ shortcomings, and didn’t sound too hopeful for the fourth-year player. Selected ninth overall in 2015, Flowers has been a major bust at left tackle, and the Giants are experimenting with him at right tackle this offseason. McAdoo doesn’t think it’ll make a difference. “He can’t bend, you got to be able to bend” he said of his former player, adding “you can run around him on that side just like you can on the other side.” It’s somewhat refreshing to hear a coach speak that openly, but it likely won’t help him in his search for another coaching gig.

Here’s more from New York:

  • Giants fifth round pick R.J. McIntosh is the only player drafted outside the first two rounds who has yet to sign his rookie deal. A thyroid issue may be holding up McIntosh’s contract, but a deal should get done soon, a source told Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com.
  • Dunleavy thinks recently drafted cornerback Sam Beal “might not be able to make an impact until the second half of his rookie season” even if he impresses the team. Dunleavy notes that the Supplemental Draft pick is “16 practices and three months of preparation behind the other rookies” so it will take him a while to catch up.
  • Defensive coordinator James Bettcher will be a “hot candidate” for head coaching vacancies in 2019 if the Giants defense “has a bounce-back year”, according to Dunleavy. He also thinks defensive backs coach Lou Anarumo is a future coordinator in the league who teams will soon begin to take notice of.

East Notes: Beal, Wake, Giants

Sam Beal is widely considered to be the best prospect in this year’s supplemental draft, and most NFL talent evaluators think he will fall somewhere in the first three rounds of the draft. A tall corner who has the fluidity and speed of a smaller DB, some believe Beal has first-round talent, so he has generated plenty of discussion since he declared for the supplemental draft last month. Gil Brandt of SiriusXM says the Bills, who have an extra fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft, could be a fit for Beal (Twitter link). Meanwhile, John Keim of ESPN.com says the Redskins have interest in Beal as well as fellow supplemental draft prospects Adonis Alexander and Brandon Bryant, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says the Patriots are unlikely to select one of those players even though they have the 2019 draft capital to do so.

Now let’s round up a few more notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • Reiss believes that the Patriots, who selected OL Isaiah Wynn with their No. 23 overall selection in this year’s draft, also considered Alabama WR Calvin Ridley in that spot. Although New England’s need for a quality offensive lineman may have swung the pendulum in Wynn’s favor, Reiss also believes the team is more comfortable projecting an offensive lineman to the NFL than a receiver, which made Wynn an easier choice.
  • Though he is 36 years old, Dolphins DE Cameron Wake is still a highly-productive pass rusher, having posted 10.5 sacks last season. Despite that, and despite the fact that he is entering a contract year, Wake has no issues with the team’s decision to use a rotation that it hopes will keep him fresh in 2018. Per Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, Wake said, “I want to do whatever is going to help the entirety of the team, the entirety of the defense. So, if it means me being a third-down guy, let’s do it. If it means I have to start and play every down, I’ll take that role on, too.”
  • Matt Lombardo of NJ.com does not think the Giants will be players in the supplemental draft, and he says that, while UDFA wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo has looked good in spring practices, even a strong training camp and preseason will likely only get him another chance on Big Blue’s taxi squad, where he finished the 2017 campaign. Of course, a good showing could get the former Maryland and Syracuse product a shot on a different club.
  • Many expected Chad Wheeler to push Ereck Flowers for the Giants‘ starting right tackle job this year, but as Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes, Flowers has gotten all of the first-team reps at RT thus far. Dunleavy says Wheeler’s job as the team’s swing tackle is safe, but barring injury, it looks like Flowers will be the right tackle in 2018. However, Flowers is entering a contract year, so Wheeler may get a chance to start in 2019 if he performs well in the swing tackle role.
  • Earlier today, we heard that Redskins HC Jay Gruden may be looking for a new job in 2019 if his club turns in another so-so performance in 2018.

Giants’ Ereck Flowers Reports To Team

For now, it sounds like the Giants and Ereck Flowers will be moving forward together. The former first-round pick returned to work on Monday after missing the team’s previous offseason program, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Schefter hears a trade is still an option, but right now the plan is for the Giants to play him at right tackle. 

[RELATED: Giants’ Ereck Flowers Hires Agent Drew Rosenhaus]

Flowers was reportedly upset about the Giants’ signing of left tackle Nate Solder this offseason, but it’s not hard to see why the Giants wanted an upgrade at the position. Despite some serious buzz that led to him being taken No. 9 overall in 2015, Flowers 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. Meanwhile, in a “down year,” Solder was the 32rd ranked tackle, per PFF. In previous years, he placed as one of the league’s best.

The Giants will pit Flowers against second-year UDFA offensive tackle Chad Wheeler, 2018 UDFA Tyler Howell, and others for the right tackle job and it wouldn’t be surprising to see another veteran or two thrown into the mix. Ideally, the Giants would probably like to move on from Flowers altogether, but teams balked when asked to part with a mid-round pick for him last month.

Given the dearth of quality tackles available, the Giants could have better luck unloading Flowers this summer in the event of an injury to a starter. For now, the Giants will see what he can do on the opposite side.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Abdullah, Flowers, Seahawks, Bucs, Packers

Despite starting 11 games last season, Lions running back Ameer Abdullah only compiled 552 rushing yards on 165 carries. After three seasons in the league, the former second-rounder was hoping for a larger role, and he acknowledged that he was frustrated with his workload during an appearance on Michael Rapaport’s podcast.

“It’s frustrating, especially coming from Nebraska where I was the guy, I knew I was going to get the ball at least 20 times a game,” Abdullah said (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “For me, it’s not necessarily getting a certain number of touches. It’s getting meaningful touches and getting into a rhythm. That’s where it gets kind of frustrating.”

The 24-year-old might not get his wish in 2018. Detroit did hire a new head coach in Matt Patricia, but Jim Bob Cooter stuck around as offensive coordinator. The Lions also signed veteran running back LeGarrette Blount, and they used a second-round pick on Kerryon Johnson.

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFC…

  • We learned last week that Giants offensive lineman Ereck Flowers was upset that the team signed free agent lineman Nate Solder. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told Zach Braziller of the New York Post that he’s been in contact with the 2015 first-rounder, although he wouldn’t say when the lineman was expected to attend offseason workouts (Twitter link). The Giants signed Solder to a landmark deal this offseason and gave him Flowers’ position, and the team subsequently tried to shop their now-disgruntled lineman.
  • The Seahawks did lose several big-name free agents this offseason, including tight end Jimmy Graham, defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and wideout Paul Richardson. However, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes, the organization isn’t expected to receive any compensatory picks in next year’s draft. Part of the reasoning has to do with the team’s free agent additions, as Seattle signed tight end Ed Dickson, wideout Jaron Brown, and linebacker Barkevious Mingo (thus offsetting the losses). The Seahawks may have gotten some compensation had offensive linemen Oday Aboushi and Luke Joeckel, running back Eddie Lacy, kicker Blair Walsh and linebacker Michael Wilhoite signed elsewhere, but the deadline for compensatory draft picks was on Wednesday.
  • Buccaneers rookie linebacker Jack Cichy is already practicing with his new squad, writes Greg Auman of TampaBay.com. The sixth-round pick is nine months removed from surgery on a torn ACL in his right knee, an injury that caused him to miss the 2017 season (and, vicariously, caused his draft stock to fall). “It was fun to be back out here. Everything felt good,” said Cichy, who wore a brace on his right knee. “It felt crisp and felt good just to get back in the flow of things and get acclimated here.”
  • When eying undrafted rookies who could contribute to the Packers this season, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky says we should “follow the money.” Last season, five members of Green Bay’s undrafted class finished the season on the active roster, and four of those players had received the highest-possible signing bonus. This year, the Packers gave $6K signing bonuses (the top possible amount) to five of their 16 undrafted signings: offensive lineman Jacob Alsadek, quarterback Tim Boyle, center Austin Davis, defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster, and defensive end Conor Sheehy.