It’s been a few months since the Detroit Lions released Trey Flowers, and the defensive lineman remains on the free agency market even as things have settled down and teams push toward training camp.
Flowers could be a help for plenty of teams looking for pass rush punch, as he provided a little bit of that with Detroit. But it’s a familiar location that is being projected to get all of the love for Flowers when all is said and done this offseason.
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Bleacher Report took a look at projecting where some of the top free agents will land. While the Lions weren’t projected to land such a name, one of their former players was picked to land in a familiar location in Flowers.
Kay believes the New England Patriots will land Flowers again, a few years after losing him to the Lions in free agency. As he writes, Flowers has a good history with New England and while he struggled in Detroit, taking a smaller deal to try and build himself back up with the Patriots might be a good idea.
“Flowers will have to accept a significant pay cut this offseason if he wants to turn his fortunes around with the Patriots. New England has little money to work with—Spotrac estimates the team is slightly over the cap right now—but agreeing to a cheap contract could set the edge-defender up to sign a bigger deal next spring if he can stay healthy and return to form,” Kay wrote.
Trying to reclaim some magic in New England might not be the worst idea for Flowers, so it will be interesting to see if that is the move for him when all is said and done.
Why Lions Decided on Cutting Flowers
Once a top free agent in his class in 2018, Flowers came to Detroit with much fanfare, but did not exactly deliver upon being paid as if he was one of the best defenders in the league. For that reason, plus potential scheme fit issues within Aaron Glenn’s new look defense that has transitioned to a 3-4 look, it long seemed as if it could make sense for the team to move on from Flowers and save money. Moving on from Flowers could also allowed the Lions to get a bit younger up front, which has been a goal of theirs since the beginning. Last year, it started with the addition of rookie players like Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill. It continued with rookie defensive ends like Aidan Hutchinson and Josh Paschal in 2022.
Whether other teams could look to Flowers or not before camp, the Lions decided on the youth movement again for 2022 and elected to save the money and apply it elsewhere across their roster. That’s why Flowers was released.
Flowers’ Career Stats & Highlights
It’s safe to say Flowers was coming into a huge season in Detroit in 2021. His massive contract makes him a bit of a target for those who want to see more production. In his Lions’ career, Flowers has 73 tackles, 9 sacks and just 2 forced fumbles. In his career, Flowers has racked up 30 total sacks and 237 tackles. Obviously, these numbers prove the talent is there, so being able to work Flowers into the right scheme and keep him healthy could be more the issue for the team at this point in time. In Week 1, Flowers put up 4 tackles plus 1 forced fumble as part of a solid effort. Since, he’s been more up and down due to injuries, and has never stayed healthy. Flowers had only 24 total tackles and 1.5 sacks this year.
Here’s a look at some highlights of Flowers from his first season with the Lions in 2019:
Obviously, Flowers has talent, but he hasn’t stayed healthy and his production has been spotty. Finding a way to improve his career somewhere comfortable could be the goal, and that’s what could be projected in New England.
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