Huntsville native Trey Flowers may have given a little clue about his NFL future just over a week before the star defensive end hits the free agent market. On Saturday, Flowers brought the Lombardi Trophy from Super Bowl LIII to a Springfield Thunderbirds game in Wester Mass. and as he addressed the crowed, the 25-year old may have tipped his hand about what he’s hoping for once he hits the market.
“This is No. 6. We want seven,” Flowers said to the AHL fans.
Of course, this is hardly Flowers punching his ticket to a longterm deal with the Patriots going forward, but it does show that he’s caught the championship fever and clearly wouldn’t mind a return to Foxboro. As for how the Patriots are approaching all of this, Mike Giardi of the NFL Network highlighted earlier in the week that the Patriots would like for Flowers to see what his value is on the market and then circle back to the Patriots to either top, match or come close to the offers he’s receiving by other clubs.
That’s a similar approach to what the Patriots have done in the past with the likes of Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower before they inked extensions with the club.
Spotrac projects that Flowers’ value on the open market should see him earn a contract that pays him $15.3 million on an AAV basis. The specific contract that they project is a 5 year deal worth just under $77 million. While that’s the number that Spotrac is pegging Flowers with, it wouldn’t be all too surprising to see him fetch a contract that gives him an AAV that’s closer to what he would have earned had New England placed the franchise on him. That would earn Flowers a deal that gives him $17 million annually, which is fitting considering he’s the top defensive end on the market.
Flowers started in all 15 games he played for New England in the regular season last year and totaled 57 tackles and a career high 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. As the Patriots marched to their sixth Super Bowl title in franchise history (the second of Flowers’ career), the young pass rusher was a key contributor totaling two sacks to go along with six quarterback hits.
Clearly Flowers is interested in a return to the Patriots if all things are equal, but because of his age and stellar play over the course of his career, he may have priced himself out of Foxboro.