There’s a strong chance Trey Flowers will take his talents to South Beach once free agency opens later this month, according to a report.

Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline reported Thursday the Miami Dolphins are currently the “front-runners” to sign Flowers, who to this point has spent his entire career with the rival New England Patriots.

Re-signing Flowers, New England’s leader in sacks and quarterback hits in each of the last three seasons, would be in the Patriots’ best interest, but the interest he’ll generate on the open market could land him a more lucrative contract offer elsewhere.

Flowers, who turns 26 in August, will be arguably the best free agent edge rusher available this offseason, especially if Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney and Dallas’ Demarcus Lawrence receive the franchise tag or contract extensions from their current squads. Another highly regarded defensive end came off the market Friday morning when Brandon Graham signed a three-year extension with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Miami’s reported interest in Flowers is obvious considering new head coach Brian Flores spent the last 15 years in New England, most recently as the Patriots’ de facto defensive coordinator. Flores also brought several other members of the Patriots’ coaching staff with him when he took the Dolphins job earlier this month.

Flowers played in 15 games for the Patriots in 2018, setting career highs in sacks (7 1/2) and tackles for loss (nine) while tallying a team-high 20 QB hits. He was Pro Football Focus’ sixth-highest-graded edge defender.

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