By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The NFL Draft is only a day away and the Giants are making news. This time it’s not about trading the 2nd overall pick or Odell Beckham, but rather trading OT Ereck Flowers. Flowers was the 9th overall pick for the Giants in 2015 and has been a major disappointment. GM Dave Gettleman addressed his lack of production at LT by signing LT Nate Solder to a 4 year deal. The signing moved Flowers to RT to compete for the starting position, however; Flowers has yet to appear to any of the volunteer practices thus far. This action has put the Giants into a position of unloading the former 1st round pick before or during the draft to any team willing to give him a second chance. You would think that a young offensive lineman with three years under his belt playing LT and a former top 10 pick would be in demand. However; it appears that Gettleman will need to earn his pay on this one and try to get the best possible package he can; whether it’s picks or for another player. What would the compensation be for Flowers at this point? Many reports have stated that the best the Giants could get is probably somewhere between a 4th through 6th round picks. Perhaps acquiring a player who has also under achieved, but could turn it around with a change of scenery is another option.
There have been mentioned of teams such as the Seattle Seahawks as a fit who could offer their own version of Ereck Flowers in German Ifedi. Ifedi was a 1st round pick (31st) in the 2016 draft and has not lived up to what the Seahawks expected. The Cincinnati Bengals are another team mentioned as well, depending on what they do in the draft as another landing spot. Other teams that could be interested are the Oakland Raiders, the Jacksonville Jaguars and possibly the New England Patriots. By trading Flowers, the Giants free up $2.4M in cap space, but would have $2.1M in dead money for this season. The odds are stacked against Gettleman finding a suitor and getting anything for Flowers anytime soon and the likely scenario could be that the Giants release Flowers and move on.
Final Thoughts: I was never a fan of Flowers and not very happy when the Giants drafted him with Todd Gurley still available on the board. Former GM Jerry Reese for some strange reason minimized the offensive line and linebacker positions during his time as the Giants GM. When he did draft or sign a linemen, it was often the wrong choice. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Gettleman will pull off a miracle and get something for Flowers, hopefully a 4th rounder. This year’s draft does have a little depth at the OT position with possible tackles available in the 4th round such as: Brandon Parker, Alex Cappa, Desmond Harrison and Gerhard de Beer just to name a few.