Pat Shurmur, the new Giants head coach, met Ereck Flowers over the phone, calling him the day the Giants signed Nate Solder in a major free-agent splash.
“I embraced him by saying he’s a tough guy,” Shurmur said this week at the NFL owners’ meetings, “but I also told him we brought in a guy that’s gonna play left tackle, and we want him to move over to right to compete to be a player there and that we’re hopeful he’s gonna be one of our best five.”
This was quite the how-do-you-do. Flowers, the No. 9 pick in the 2015 draft, has exclusively been the starting left tackle in his three years with the Giants. He was a left tackle in college at Miami. The Giants, though, gave Solder a $62 million deal, and he is not switching sides.
Shurmur said Flowers was respectful and did not say much over the phone when informed of his moving to the right side. The Giants want Flowers to earn his spot at right tackle and have not guaranteed him a starting job. If this fails, a move inside to guard could be an option, but not a good one.
“Possibly, he’s a good enough athlete,’’ Shurmur said. “Sometimes out of necessity you’ll take a tackle and put him at guard because your third tackle can’t play guard. The intention is for him to play right tackle.”
“The longer Gronkowski goes without saying he’s all in, the chances of him being traded increases, the source said.”
Following the Patriots’ 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII last month, Gronkowski, 28, did not commit to playing another year in New England.
“I’ll sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at,” the five-time Pro Bowler said.
Rumors later surfaced that Gronkowski considered hanging up his cleats permanently following a tense mini camp over the summer.
“He didn’t enjoy himself in 2017,” NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran said in late February. “[Gronkowski] did not have a good time despite the fact his body was in a better situation than it’s been in a long time — ever maybe. Despite the fact that he’s one of the most dominant players at any skill position, it’s starting to wear on him physically, mentally, the atmosphere in New England.”