Multiple Outlets Link Patriots to Reunion With Free Agent Pass Rusher

Getty Trey Flowers

The New England Patriots and Trey Flowers should reunite, at least that’s what multiple outlets are saying. Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed called Flowers the one free agent acquisition the Patriots should make before the start of the 2022 NFL season.

“New England should add Flowers, who left in free agency after the 2018 season, on a second stint,” Kyed wrote in a story published June 29. “It wouldn’t be out of the question, considering Jamie Collins’ three stints with the team. Flowers has an 89.8 PFF grade since entering the NFL in 2015. They play different roles, but the Patriots would benefit from adding another edge defender after releasing Kyle Van Noy this offseason.”

Losing Van Noy could impact the Patriots’ pass rush and overall defense, so it might make sense for the team to turn to another veteran to fill his duties. One who knows the system well like Flowers might be even more attractive.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay also suggested that Flowers land with the Patriots, writing that a one-year prove-it deal could lead to a bigger contract in the offseason.

“Flowers will have to accept a significant pay cut this offseason if he wants to turn his fortunes around with the Patriots,” Kay wrote. “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.”

Flowers Made His Name With the Patriots

Flowers, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots, spent the last three seasons with the Detroit Lions after beginning his career in New England. Flowers missed most of his rookie season in 2015 (playing in just one game) before making a major impact in 2016.

Flowers’ seven sacks led the team and helped propel the Patriots to a Super Bowl win. Flowers would follow up the 2016 campaign with 6.5 sacks in 2017 and another 7.5 in 2018 before signing a free-agent deal with the Lions.

His first year in Detroit saw him maintain his consistency as he put together a seven-sack season for a woeful Lions team. Unfortunately, injuries would ravage his 2020 and 2021 campaigns, limiting him to a combined 14 contests over a two-year span.

If Flowers wants to get his career back on the right track, Kay could be right, signing with the Patriots and bringing these back to the basics might be the best approach.

The Patriots May Not Need Flowers

While reunion storylines are great, the Patriots may not see a need to bring Flowers back — even on a cheap one-year contract. Young pass rushers Josh Uche and Ronnie Perkins are both options for the role Van Noy vacated.

Uche has shown flashes, but like Flowers, he has struggled to stay health. He has four sacks in 21 games over his first two seasons in the NFL. The Patriots are expected to give him a chance to earn a major role this season.

Perkins, who was drafted in the third round in 2021, didn’t crack the 53-man roster in his first season. Still, the hope is for him to make an impact in 2022. If the Patriots believe enough in Uche or Perkins, they may not see a need for a Flowers reclamation project.

That said, if Flowers could simply add depth, considering injuries are bound to happen on some level, it might still be worth a look. Flowers may need to pass a physical to prove he’s healthy enough to contribute to any NFL team in 2022 — not just the Patriots.

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