Ereck Flowers hasn’t played right tackle since his freshman year at Miami. He started four games at the position for the 2012 Hurricanes, played all 12. In 70 games since, pro and college, the former first-round pick has lined up on the left side of the line.
That will soon change.
After the Giants signed Nate Solder to a four-year, $62 million contract this offseason, Flowers has little choice but to change positions. In some ways, he’s lucky to still be with the team.
The Giants reportedly shopped him during the draft. His play has drawn ire from fans, particularly during a 3-13 2017 season — the organization’s worst since 1966. He didn’t show up for a voluntary minicamp in April, making general manager Dave Gettleman openly unhappy. The team declined his fifth-year option in May. Things seem to be barreling toward an end for Flowers in New York, even if that end waits until after the upcoming season.
“End of the day, they gotta do what’s best for the organization,” Flowers said of the team trying to trade him. “I don’t have any personal feelings about it and for me, I wanna prove myself every time I hit the field. I wanna get better every year and mainly, I just wanna do it for myself. It’s not to prove to anybody else, but prove to myself that I can play at a certain level.”
In his first time speaking with reporters since last season, Flowers repeatedly stressed that things are going well both on the field and off, he is feeling great, there is nothing to see here. But players drafted in the top 10 normally aren’t answering questions about their organizations trying to trade them.
When players with that tag talk about proving themselves, it usually isn’t in this context — a position change having been foisted upon them, their future an open question.
“I’ve always wanted to prove to myself,” Flowers said. “… I mean, I’m not trying — I don’t think of [the need to prove myself] as higher. I’m not trying to put — I’m not trying to over-pressure myself. I just wanna go out and play the best I can play.”
“What I’ve seen is a guy that has embraced his role,” Solder said. “Who’s really taken heart to improving. He’s been a great teammate to me, and I’m real thankful for him, having him on the team.”