Lions trade rumors: Is there a robust market for Trey Flowers?
Trey Flowers is an easy trade candidate for the Detroit Lions, but is there actually a robust market for him?
As the trade deadline approaches next Tuesday, Nov. 2, the Detroit Lions could be active. If you believe the broad and growing narrative, edge rusher Trey Flowers is the most likely player the Lions will trade. With the premium placed on those who can get after the quarterback, it makes some sense.
In five games this season, Flowers has 1.5 sacks, 20 total tackles, one tackle for loss, three quarterback hits and seven quarterback pressures. He missed nine games last year, and two earlier this year due to a knee issue that’s still limiting him during the practice week.
Lions rumors: Is there a robust market for Trey Flowers?
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports tabbed Flowers as a fit for the Kansas City Chiefs, with the hypothetical return of a conditional fifth-round pick in 2023. Two more analysts have Flowers as a trade target, for two other teams.
"Arizona Cardinals: Trade for OLB Trey FlowersThe Cardinals have revved up their pass rush with Chandler Jones back and J.J. Watt leading their front three. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a situational impact player knowing they’ll be often in tee-off mode to complement their offense. Flowers also can provide more help against the top QBs Arizona is bound to see in the playoffs."
This was written a week ago, before Watt suffered a shoulder injury that will need surgery and sideline him for the season. So any urgency for Arizona to add a pass rusher may ramp up quickly. Maybe the Lions get a better draft pick than they might get elsewhere for Flowers, as the all-in Cardinals remain all-in. Iyer added trading Flowers as the move the Lions should make.
Christian D’Andrea of USA TODAY’s For The Win:
"DE/OLB Trey Flowers to the Cleveland Browns Flowers is an expensive sigil from Matt Patricia’s deposed regime in Detroit, but he’s still useful. The former Patriot is a solid block-shedder against the run who can still provide pressure from the edge against the pass. While he’s two years removed from his last season with 20+ quarterback hits, a change of pace would infuse new life in the 28-year-old defender."
As D’Andrea alluded to, Flowers had seven sacks and 21 quarterback hits in 2019, his first season with the Lions. That was his third straight season with 20-plus quarterback hits, and he had at least seven sacks in three of four seasons from 2016-2019 (6.5 sacks in the one he didn’t have seven). He’s still only 28 years old, and the Browns could add Flowers to a pass rush that includes Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney.
Any interest in Flowers on the trade market is somewhat guided by cap concerns, or an adjustment to the final two years of his contract to make a trade more palatable for certain contending teams.
If there are, say, 3-5 teams with interest in Flowers, Lions general manager Brad Holmes has a bit of surprising leverage to play offers off each other. A fifth-round pick for him would be an acceptable return in a broad sense, but maybe someone will be just desperate enough to bump it up to third or fourth-rounder with conditions. Don’t be shocked if Flowers is gone from Detroit before 4 p.m. ET next Tuesday, and for a better return than you’d think.