The Patriots have a history of bringing players back for a second tour of duty in New England after they’ve left the organization.
One NFL analyst believes it’s logical for Bill Belichick and company to carry out this trend with a player who currently is on the open market.
ESPN’s Matt Bowen on Thursday released a list of the top 10 NFL free agents and assigned the best fit for each player. Bowen thinks Trey Flowers, a 2015 fourth-round pick by the Patriots, should return to Foxboro.
“Flowers only played 14 games over the past two seasons, and the production never really hit in Detroit,” Bowen wrote. “Flowers produced just 10 1/2 sacks in his three years with the Lions. An edge rusher who lacks transcendent traits, Flowers benefits from heavily schemed fronts — which he will see back in New England.
“Over his first three seasons in the NFL, the defensive end logged a total of 20.5 sacks with the Patriots. He wins with slants and stunts, along with the defined one-on-one pass-rush matchups. Flowers played his best and most disruptive football under Bill Belichick, so a return to New England makes sense.”
Looking into bringing back Flowers probably is worthwhile for the Patriots, who seemingly only saw quarterback pressure from Matthew Judon and Christian Barmore last season. New England isn’t flush with cash, but Flowers probably can be had for cheap at this point, especially considering his injury history.
Flowers turns 29 in mid-August, so there presumably is plenty left in the tank. A reclamation project in New England potentially could work out in spades for all parties involved.