The Lions are slated to be adding pass rusher Trey Flowers on a five-year contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports. The deal, which reunites the Huntsville native with coach Matt Patricia, is expected to be worth more than $16 or $17 million per season.
ESPN first reported the news.
Deals cannot become official until the start of the new league year, at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Flowers, the Patriots‘ best pass rusher the past several seasons, was expected to be among the most sought-after edge defenders to hit free agency. Given the funny-money deals being shelled out early in the negotiating period, around $17 million per year isn’t ridiculous for the top pass rusher on the market.
Detroit desperately needed to upgrade its pass rushing in Patricia’s second season, especially with former first-round pick Ziggy Ansah headed to the open market.
Flowers slides perfectly into Detroit’s D, as Patricia was the 25-year-old’s defensive coordinator for his first three seasons. Flowers owns the youth, speed, power, motor, work ethic and versatility to continue his upward trajectory.
The former fourth-round pick might not be a Von Miller-type edge rusher, but is a prototypical moveable chess piece along the front-line that Patricia covets from his defensive players. Flowers can win on the edge with speed and effort, and can slide inside and power interior blockers.
In four years in New England, Flowers compiled 164 tackles and 21 sacks. He tallied 9.5 sacks in 2018, including two during the Patriots‘ Super Bowl run. Flowers ranked in the top 10 in hits, hurries, and total pressures in 2018, per Pro Football Focus.
The addition of Flowers continues the pipeline of former New England players to Detroit. On Monday alone, the Lions brought in receiver Danny Amendola (five years with the Patriots), and agreed to deals with corner Justin Coleman (two years with the Patriots) and Flowers.