3 Commanders starters from 2021 who are still free agents
By Jerry Trotta
2. Ereck Flowers
The Commanders have been fantastic in terms of developing offensive linemen, and Flowers is arguably the best example of that after. A former first-round pick (No. 9 overall) of the Giants back in 2015, Flowers looked lost at left tackle over his first four seasons before Washington converted him to a guard in 2019.
Flowers started all 16 games that year and allowed 24 pressures and just two sacks while committing only two penalties. He signed with the Dolphins the following offseason before returning to the nation’s capital in 2021.
Once again, Flowers exceeded expectations at left guard, starting all but one game while producing a 72.0 player grade from PFF. Over 1,061 snaps, he allowed just 26 pressures, six sacks and three (!) hits to go with two penalties. Simply put, Flowers was a wrecking ball in pass protection, as his 78.1 pass-blocking grade ranked fifth amongst guards who played at least 1,000 snaps.
Unfortunately for Flowers, the arrival of Carson Wentz (and his $28 million salary) made the underrated guard expendable and he was released to save $10 million in cap space. In fairness to the front office, it responded by signing Andrew Norwell, a more proven lineman who had previously played for Ron Rivera, for half the price ($10 million over two years including $4.7 million guaranteed).
Whatever team forks over the necessary money to sign Flowers is getting a quality player. We just hope that squad doesn’t reside in the NFC East.