On Tuesday, it was reported that the Washington Football Team had agreed to a swap of late-round picks to acquire offensive lineman Ereck Flowers from the Miami Dolphins.
Flowers, 27, had played in Washington during the 2019 season and was a solid starter at left guard. He figures to battle with Wes Schweitzer for playing time, but after starting 14 games for the Dolphins last year and continuing to play well on the inside of the line, he is probably favored over Schweitzer for that role.
But no matter what happens, Washington’s depth on the offensive line will have been upgraded. That’s obviously a huge positive.
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And when you look at the cost it took to achieve that, the move only continues to tilt in Washington’s favor.
What it cost the Washington Football Team to acquire Ereck Flowers
As detailed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the swap of late-round picks that Washington and Miami completed was as follows:
- Washington Receives: Ereck Flowers, seventh-round pick (No. 258)
- Miami Receives: Seventh-round pick (No. 244)
A swap of seventh-round picks. That’s it. In total, the Washington Football Team moved down just 14 spots in the last frame of the draft to get a potential starter at left guard. That’s a terrific value.
Of course, Washington is taking on Flowers’ contract as well, so that plays a part in the negotiations. Still, they managed to do well in defraying the overall cost it took to acquire Flowers.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter detailed, Flowers’ contract was restructured upon his arrival to Washington. He was set to enter the second year of a three-year, $30 million deal, but instead, the Dolphins will pay him $6 million this year while Washington will give him $3 million.
All of that money is guaranteed, which is great for Flowers, but the fact that Miami is paying two-thirds of it is amazing for Washington. That means that they are, effectively, paying about $3 million in cash for a potential starting guard this year. Essentially, that makes this a two-year deal worth up to $13 million for the Washington Football Team.
Again, that’s not bad money for a starting guard. But if they felt like they needed to get out of the Flowers deal after this season, they could do so with just $1 million in dead cap space.
This was a shrewd move by Washington. They are getting a starting-caliber player with a ton of experience on the cheap. He has played in Washington before and he likes it here. And by adding interior offensive line help and depth, that ensures they won’t have to add a guard in the draft and can instead focus on leveraging a strong tackle class with one of their top two picks.
And hey, maybe Flowers’ presence could help the team feel more comfortable trading Brandon Scherff if they decide it’s not worth keeping the veteran around during his second year on the franchise tag.
Even if Flowers doesn’t pan out this time around, the WFT is assuming almost no risk. Well done by Martin Mayhew, Marty Hurney, and Ron Rivera landing a quality player ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft as they continue to mold Washington into a very competitive team.