The Detroit Lions, most people understood, had a big move to make this offseason with defensive end Trey Flowers, but everyone was unsure if the other shoe was indeed going to drop.
On Thursday, March 10, it has finally dropped. Flowers will be released once the new league year begins next week, and the team will be officially moving on from their expensive defensive end.
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Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press revealed the news that the team informed Flowers that he will indeed be moving on when the new league year starts on Wednesday, March 16.
“The Lions have informed DE Trey Flowers that he will be released on the first day of the 2022 league year next week. Flowers has been nothing but class in Detroit, a good player hit hard by injuries the past 2 seasons,” Birkett tweeted.
Flowers never did stay healthy in Detroit, and when he was placed on the injured reserve late last year, some interpreted that as the end of his road in Detroit. That ended up as truth.
The move to cut Flowers will save the Lions $10 million against the salary cap. The Lions could have saved $16 million had they waited to cut Flowers, but they made the move to move on with the likely knowledge that they needed the money quicker for fixes.
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 could make sense for the team to move on from Flowers and save money. Moving on from Flowers could also allow 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 could continue with a rookie defensive end in 2022.
Whether other teams could look to Flowers or not, the Lions could decide on the youth movement again for 2022 and elect to save the money and apply it elsewhere across their roster. That will look to be the case with this move with Flowers finally coming to fruition.
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. That, combined with a big contract, made him an easy player to be moved out for cap purposes when all was said and done.