It was conspicuous, to say the least, that when the New York Giants began their (voluntary) off-season program, only one player failed to show up for any part.
That player, of course, was offensive tackle Ereck Flowers.
Friday morning, Giants’ safety Landon Collins was a guest on WFAN and confirmed what most suspected -- That Flowers is not happy with the Giants.
Landon Collins just said on WFAN that Ereck Flowers is unhappy the #Giants picked up Nate Solder. Said Flowers knows Landon’s cousin and that’s how he found out, since Flowers didn’t answer him when he reached out— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) May 4, 2018
Landon Collins says on WFAN Ereck Flowers is his guy but he still has a lot to learn & has to work even harder. Collins believes Flowers needs to be here w/ team. Says Flowers thought he did enough last offseason/early season but went downhill when season— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) May 4, 2018
On the one hand, Flowers’ frustration at being unceremoniously ousted from the only position he’s ever played after his best season as a pro, without having the opportunity to compete to keep his job, is understandable.
From a practical stand-point, there isn’t any real difference in the value of a left tackle and a right tackle to the operation of an offense. Had the Giants felt more charitable towards Flowers, they might have offered him the opportunity to compete with Nate Solder to keep the left tackle position. But from a financial and perception perspective, a team isn’t going to make a left tackle the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL, then tell him to change positions.
But while Flowers’ frustration might be understandable, it isn’t an excuse to pull away from the team. The fact that he is not only not showing up to the facilities, but also not talking to his teammates, makes the Giants’ apparent frustration with Flowers entirely understandable as well.
Collins is absolutely right that Flowers should be with the team, and his teammates, even though his presence isn’t compulsory. Like it or not, if he wants to stay with the Giants, he will have to do so at right tackle. And while he might be spending his time away from the team with an offensive line coach to learn how to play his new position — or not, we (or at least I) haven’t heard how he is spending his off-season. If Flowers wants to be a Giant, he needs to be in-house developing a rapport with his linemates and learning the new blocking schemes.
The whole situation looks ugly from the outside, and a favorable resolution doesn’t seem likely at this point.