Washington Football Team Reportedly Bringing Back Guard Ereck Flowers From Miami Dolphins
There was a time when former No. 9 overall pick Ereck Flowers was considered to be a bust.
After three abysmal seasons with the New York Giants to begin his career, Flowers came into his own with the Washington Football Team in 2019 when he transitioned from tackle to guard. After delivering a strong performance that season, Flowers signed a three-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.
Now, the Dolphins have agreed to trade Flowers to the Washington Football Team in a deal involving a swap of late round draft picks, according to multiple reports. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport first reported the news.
The trade would send Flowers back to the team where he first began to flourish at the NFL level. Flowers increases the depth and competition at the offensive line in Washington, and should fill the team’s need for a starting-caliber guard. His presence would further bolster a position group that has been steadily improving over the past two offseasons.
Flowers was reportedly enthusiastic about the trade and the prospect of moving back to Washington.
“I’m very excited and anxious to get back up there because I love the O-line room and I already had a good relationship with coach John Matsko as well,” Flowers told reporter Josina Anderson. “This is best for me.”
Before his time in Washington, Flowers floundered with the Giants, who drafted him out of the University of Miami in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He delivered insufficient protection at tackle in his three years with team before being cut in 2018. Flowers started the remainder of the season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who eventually released him.
Things changed for Flowers when he arrived in Washington in 2019 and transitioned from tackle to guard under one of the league’s best offensive line coaches, Bill Callahan. During Weeks 1-8 of the 2019 season, Flowers committed five penalties and had one game with a pass blocking grade above 70.0, according to Pro Football Focus, In Weeks 9-17, Flowers committed one penalty and had one game with a pass blocking grade below 70.0. Even without star lineman Trent Williams and guard Brandon Scherff, who missed five games due to injury, the Redskins’ offensive line finished at No. 13 in the league, according to PFF.
For those in Washington, Flowers’ rise was no coincidence. Callahan was promoted to interim head coach after Week 5 of the regular season, replacing Jay Gruden. Known for his attentiveness to details, Callahan came up with the idea to move Flowers from tackle to guard.
“When you talk to [Callahan], he’s just so knowledgeable,” Flowers said to the team’s site in March 2019. “Certain stuff you watch on film, or when he talks about certain things. I was just talking to him now, and there are things that I’ve never really heard, and it’s like ‘wow.’ You know he’s a great coach.”
Callahan is currently the offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns. But ties remain for Flowers in Washington’s offensive line room, including with the aforementioned coach John Matsko.
Flower’s three-year, $30 million deal with the Dolphins still exists, which is why Washington is able to get a starting guard for only some late-round draft picks. Flowers’ cap hit is $10 million in 2021 and increases to $11 million in 2022, a number that Washington, which entered the 2021 offseason as one of the top five teams in the league in terms of salary cap, is well-positioned to afford.
For Miami, the deal allows them to clear a chunk of space in the days leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.
Flowers’ presence will give Washington options at guard between him and Wes Schweitzer, who originally replaced Flowers when he left for the Dolphins.
Washington is also likely thinking ahead knowing that Scherff, 29, has not played a full 16-game season since 2016. He is playing on the franchise tag for the second season in a row in 2021 and will therefore likely part with the Football Team after the season’s end when they are no longer able to afford him.