After three seasons, the Detroit Lions are moving on from pass rusher Trey Flowers.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday that the Lions plan to release Flowers next week at the start of the NFL's new league year, per sources informed of the decision. The new league year begins next Wednesday, March 16, at 4 p.m. ET.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press first reported the news.
A big-money signing of the previous regime, the Lions brought Flowers over from New England on a five-year, $90 million contract in 2019. The relentless pass rusher was the jewel of the Bob Quinn-Matt Patricia plan to incorporate as much of the Patriots scheme as possible.
As is often the case when players leave Foxborough for big money, it didn't work out. In three seasons, Flowers earned 10.5 sacks and 27 QB hits in 29 games. Detroit paid $54.375 million for that production. He played just seven games in 2021 and recorded 1.5 sacks and 24 tackles.
Cutting Flowers saves the Lions $10.386 million on the salary cap with $12.853 million in dead money. The Lions are thin at edge rusher, but Flowers' production didn't match a potential $23 million salary-cap cost.
Would it be a stunner if Flowers returned to New England on a cheap, 1-year deal and immediately returned to form? No, no it would not.