How much money will defensive end Trey Flowers and offensive tackle Trent Brown — two players who performed well for the Super Bowl LIII-winning New England Patriots this past season — land on the open market?
ESPN.com published a 2019 NFL free agency preview Thursday in which two national writers included Flowers and Brown among the players “most likely to get overpaid” and “most likely to break the bank” when the league’s signing period officially begins next Wednesday.
On Friday, ESPN.com took things a step further, with NFL writer Dan Graziano predicting the contracts that several notable free agents — including Flowers and Brown — will secure in free agency. Graziano consulted with a handful of agents, personnel executives and salary-cap experts around the league before revealing his projections.
Graziano believes Flowers, who turns 26 in August, will land a five-year, $85 million contract with $35 million guaranteed. Here’s his rationale for the deal, which equates to $17 million annually:
With all of the other top pass-rushers franchised, Flowers is the best one available and should see offers pour in. He has former defensive coordinators who are now head coaches in Miami and Detroit, and those guys know his value as a player who can move around the defensive line and cause trouble in opposing backfields. The early part of next week should be a very exciting time for Flowers.
Graziano believes Brown, who turns 26 next month, will reel in a four-year, $60 million contract with $30 million guaranteed. Here’s his logic for that payday, which equates to $15 million annually:
This is a bit lower than the deal fellow former Patriots left tackle Nate Solder signed with the Giants last year, but it should be. Brown hasn’t been a left tackle as long as Solder was. This is a cash-in deal for a player who had a big contract year and inflated his value significantly by helping with a Super Bowl run. Timing is everything in this life, kids.
Flowers, a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2015, developed into a very valuable player on New England’s defense, which would suffer a huge blow if he signs elsewhere in free agency.
Brown, meanwhile, came over in a trade from the San Francisco 49ers last offseason and exceeded expectations while protecting Tom Brady’s blind side in 2018. His departure would require the Patriots to beef up their offensive line before the 2019 campaign, especially with Brady turning 42.
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