He’s back! Well… in the division that is.
The Miami Dolphins have agreed to trade starting left guard Ereck Flowers — widely perceived amongst New York Giants fans as one of the organization’s biggest draft busts in recent memory — to the Washington Football Team. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the deal includes a swap of late-round draft picks.
“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 ESPN’s Josina Anderson following the trade. “This is best for me.”
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A Return to the NFC East, A Return to Washington
The move not only marks a return for Flowers within the NFC East, but also a return to D.C. The 27-year-old enjoyed a career revival with Washington back in 2019, switching from offensive tackle to guard — a position change that proved wildly beneficial for Flowers. While still spotty in pass protection, the 6-foot-6-inch, 343-pounder posted a career-high 92% pass block win rate, per ESPN Stats & Information that season.
Flowers’ newfound production helped propel the former No. 9 overall pick into a hefty payday this past offseason. The Miami (FL) product returned to his roots, inking a three-year, $30 million deal with the Dolphins.
Flowers’ Stint in Miami
In his lone season with the ‘Phins, Flowers started 14 games at left guard, putting forth a somewhat uneven performance. By no means was Flowers the mess that he was during his days in East Rutherford. In fact, his play was very much on par with how he produced the season prior with WFT, earning a 65.9 overall PFF grade, the 32nd-best mark amongst guards in the NFL (64.1 in 2019). The problem is, Flowers didn’t take the jump Miami projected he would when then committed big money to him.
In return, the decision to cut bait with Flowers helps alleviate some of that financial commitment. The trade saves the Dolphins $8 million in cap space and $9 million in guaranteed salary. Of course, extracting Flowers from Miami’s starting lineup does leave a void. However, as ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe noted, the team has a few different routes they can go in filling the vacancy:
The Dolphins are entertaining the idea of moving 2020 second-round pick Robert Hunt from starting right tackle to guard and signing a right tackle in free agency, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Solomon Kindley, the Dolphins’ 2020 fourth-round pick, received significant playing time as a rookie and returns as a capable starting guard option along with recent free-agent signing D.J. Fluker.
While Flowers will likely never live up to his lofty draft stature, he’s found a home at guard, proving to be a serviceable, reliable option. Flowers allowed five sacks and committed three penalties in 857 snaps this past year. Over his six seasons, he’s appeared in 89 games (85 starts) spanning across stops with four different teams.