A tradition unlike any other, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are losing key pieces in the free agency. The line play on both sides of the ball has taken a hit.
It should come as no surprise that both DE Trey Flowers and LT Trent Brown chose to leave the Pats in free agency. I think most knowledgeable Patriot fans would have assumed Trent Brown was as good as gone. He wasn't in the teams long-term plans. He was a solid replacement for Nate Solder this year, but let's not forget this team already drafted who they hope to be their next franchise LT in Isaiah Wynn. The first rounder out of Georgia missed the season with a torn Achilles, but if he's anything like the other Bulldog the Pats took in the first round they should be fine.
The fact that the Raiders just made a guy who's never been to a Pro Bowl, or elected to an All-Pro team the highest paid offensive linemen ever is just hilariously perfectly Raiders. Did they not learn anything from Nate Solder and the Giants this year?!!? It's like they were blinded by the ghost of Al Davis. Who cares about anything other than measurables? When a 6'8" offensive tackle who's nearly 400 pounds is available you gotta make it happen, even if he is rated as average as average can get. Just win (4 games a year) baby.
To be fair, teams like the Raiders have the money to take chances like this.
With Flowers as high #3 on all the "top X free agents of 2019" lists it looked like another team would outbid the Pats (who are notorious for trying to use coupons and promo codes during negations) for his services. 98 was never going to get 17 million a year in New England. More power to him for getting paid. That's just not how they do things here. You hoped that maaaybe he'd sign a Hightower or Devin McCourty like deal to return, but with the money pass rushers get on the open market it seemed unlikely.
âNow Trey is reunited with Matt Patricia in Detroit. With the rumors he was going to team up with Brian Flores in Miami, personally I'm glad to see Trey leave the division.
In 3 full seasons with the Patriots Flowers averaged 7 sacks a year, although most football guys would tell you he's a lot better than the sack numbers would indicate with all the responsibilities he had in the complicated Patriots defensive scheme. In the biggest moments Flowers came to play. Most notably his 2.5 sack performance in the Patriots 28-3 comeback in Super Bowl LI. Highlighted by a sack on 2nd and 11 late in the 4th quarter during the drive that saw the Falcons punt after reaching the Patriots 22 yard line. Without this sack the Patriots comeback efforts may have been too little to late as the Falcons were in v make-able field goal range at the time.
Trey thanked the Patriots organization on IG today.
With the trade for Michael Bennett a few days ago, it appeared the writing was on the wall that the Pats were moving on from Trey Flowers. As much as I hate Michael Bennett as a man, he's not a bad replacement (on paper). As much as it stinks to see them go with like 32 draft picks this year and one of the youngest rosters in the league the future is still bright for the New England Patriots.
Look for another Razorback to step in for the loss of Flowers.