Flowers Trade Details Just Make It More Mysterious

The Miami Dolphins got very little in return and very little cap savings for trading 2020 starting guard Ereck Flowers
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The Miami Dolphins trade of guard Ereck Flowers to the Washington Football Team has just gotten downright bizarre now that more details have emerged.

The first bit of disconcerting news came from ESPN's Adam Schefter, citing agent Drew Rosenhaus, that the Dolphins agreed to give Flowers a $6 million bonus to facilitate the trade and Washington will pick up a $3 million tab to give Flowers $9 million guaranteed in 2021.

The end result for the Dolphins is a cap savings of $2 million for 2021, as explained by overthecap.com.

"Miami will have $8 million in dead money for Flowers — $6 million from this year's restructure and $2 million remaining from last year's signing bonus," Jason Fitzgerald wrote. "Flowers was going to count for $10 million on the cap for the Dolphins, so it will be about $2 million in savings this year on the cap and $3 million in cash."

When it comes to 2021, all the Dolphins would have been on the books for had they moved on from Flowers next offseason would have been $1 million in remaining signing bonus cap obligation.

So the financial gains from this move are minimal at best.

OK then, what about the compensation?

That's even less than minimal.

All the Dolphins gained tangibly from the Flowers trade is 14 spots in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL draft, getting the 244th overall pick in exchange for the 258th selection, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

So the trade reads: Flowers and pick 258 to Washington for pick 244.

Yeesh!

Sure, it's not like the Dolphins just gave away an All-Pro offensive lineman here because the running game did have its lowest per-carry average going behind left guard (where Flowers played) with a 3.16 clip, compared to 3.67 behind right guard or 3.90 behind center.

But on the other hand, Flowers did have the highest 2020 grade of any Dolphins starting offensive lineman, per Pro Football Focus, and he also was a rare veteran (though only 27) in a group dominated by three second-year players.

Maybe the Dolphins figured that moving Solomon Kindley back to left guard, where he played his final season at Georgia, would represent an upgrade over Flowers. But even then, the Dolphins just gave up depth for again a minimal return and very little financial benefits.

Given past experience, it's pretty safe to assume that General Manager Chris Grier and/or Head Coach Brian Flores will say the move was made in the best interest of the team.

Barring more clarity, though, it just looks like a very strange decision.