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Free-Agent Spotlight: Guard, Ereck Flowers

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Flowers as a potential guard upgrade?

New York Jets v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Buccaneers offensive line has been a hot topic just about every off-season for as long as most fans can remember. The team has one sure thing in Ali Marpet and one could argue, every other spot has the potential to be upgraded in some way shape or form this off-season.

That leads us to Redskins free agent, Ereck Flowers. Let’s take a look at what’s led Flowers to this point in his career.

ERECK FLOWERS’ CAREER THUS FAR

Detroit Lions v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Flowers should be well known in the Tampa Bay area as he was a standout lineman for the University of Miami. Flowers was highly sought after heading into the draft and turned that hype into a top ten selection as the New York Giants spent the 9th overall pick on him in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Flowers has struggled to live up to potential and is battling a string of negativity that followed him while with the Giants. His struggles at tackle ultimately left the team declining his 5th year option which allowed the Jaguars to sign him via free agency in 2018.

Flowers played the final stretch of games for the Jaguars as the starting tackle and entered free agency a year ago where the Redskins signed the tackle and transitioned him to guard.

WHY IT WORKS

The Buccaneers have the skill position players for what should be a very dynamic offense but that offense as we’ve seen in years past, will only go as far as the offensive line will allow it. Depth has been an issue as has overall talent within this unit, Ereck Flowers could bring in much needed proven depth and versatility given his usage as a tackle and guard.

Flowers is still very young, still 25 years old, and has a lot of reps at both left tackle and left guard. Earl Watford played a third of the snaps that Flowers did in 2019 and is now a free agent again, adding Flowers to replace Watford would be a viable upgrade while getting younger at the position at the same time.

BUT...

There is some baggage that possibly comes with Flowers. There’s a reason a 9th overall pick is potentially heading to his fourth team. While in New York, Flowers was accused of quitting NFL analyst Geoff Schwartz during his time in New York for missing a multitude of blocks and assignments.

There’s also the inconsistent play at tackle that saw Flowers lead the league in pressures given up during his time at left tackle for the Giants.

WHAT’S THE COST?

This is where things get a bit tricky. Despite not playing at that high of a level with the Jaguars, Flowers still netted a 1 year $3.25 million deal a year ago with the Redskins. Pro Football Focus rated Flowers as the 30th overall guard this past season and being as young as he is, another deal a bit above that range seems likely if teams view him as a serviceable guard.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

How does the team feel about Alex Cappa? One would have to assume that a move involving Ereck Flowers would mean the team doesn’t believe or feel that Cappa has made the improvements to his game that they have hoped. Given how Cappa played this past season, this seems unlikely.

What does Ereck Flowers want? Flowers isn’t going to come this team and walk in as a starter over Donovan Smith or Ali Marpet on the left side, would a move to right guard even be a possibility with Flowers?

Make the decision

New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

If I’m the Buccaneers... I’m looking elsewhere for offensive line depth. Flowers age and recent change to guard are definitely positives, but it just doesn’t erase a history of penalties, pressures given up and suspect heart on the field. This team is moving in the right direction, no reason to risk bringing in those types of issues.

Poll

When it comes to Ereck Flowers, what would you have the Buccaneers do?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Sign him, no matter what.
    (15 votes)
  • 30%
    Make an offer, but keep it reasonable.
    (95 votes)
  • 17%
    Invite him for a cup of coffee and see where it goes from there.
    (54 votes)
  • 19%
    Call him up if there’s a need after the draft.
    (59 votes)
  • 27%
    Don’t need him.
    (85 votes)
308 votes total Vote Now