New England Patriots free agent defensive end Trey Flowers will reconnect with former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as Flowers is expected to sign a contract with the Detroit Lions, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Trey Flowers was entering free agency coming off the best season of his four-year career. The former fourth-round draft pick was outstanding as a run defender in 2018 and also an impact player against the pass despite a comparatively low total number of sacks. All in all, he once again led the Patriots in combined quarterback pressures (76.5) and ranked second in the NFL in the same statistic for primary edge rushers.
Flowers’ usage, however, went beyond that of a classic pass rusher and edge setter in the running game. New England liked to move him around the line of scrimmage to create favorable matchups not just for him but also the rest of the front-line players: he played virtually every technique along the line and rarely seems to be out of place. As a result, he finished the 2018 season as Pro Football Focus’ sixth-ranked edge defender — and number three free agent-to-be.
Needless to say, that losing Flowers will be huge for the Patriots but if the reported numbers turn out to be true turn into another third-round compensatory pick for the team next year.
[UPDATE] According to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi, the Patriots have not yet heard from Flowers about any decision. While it’s unlikely anything changes at this point, we could have a Devin McCourty 2015 situation on our hands.
[UPDATE] Giardi followed up his report with another one stating that Flowers had no plans to take a hometown discount.
[UPDATE] Flowers is getting a 5-year, $90 million deal with $56 million guaranteed. That’s a lot of money.