The Detroit Lions have informed defensive end Trey Flowers of their plans to release him on the first day of the new league year, CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson has confirmed. Flowers said his goodbyes to Detroit on Twitter tweeting: "Truly grateful for the love and the lessons!!"
Flowers is three years into a five-year, $90 million deal he signed in March of 2019. Detroit will clear $10.4 million of cap by releasing Flowers, but they will be left with $12.8 million in dead money.
A Patriot during his first four NFL seasons, Flowers matched his career high of seven sacks during his first year in Detroit. Injuries plagued Flowers over the past two years, as he played in just 14 of a possible 33 games. In seven games last season, Flowers recorded 1.5 sacks before he was placed on injured reserve.
For his career, the 28-year-old veteran has recorded 31.5 sacks, 261 tackles, 10 forced fumbles and four recoveries. In nine postseason games with the Patriots, Flowers tallied 5.5 sacks, 39 tackles and 22 quarterback hits. He had 2.5 sacks of Matt Ryan during New England's historic comeback win over Atlanta in Super Bowl LI.
Flowers should attract attention on the open market, as he will arguably be the top-ranked defensive linemen available when the new league year begins March 16. Among the other defensive ends who are expected to test free agency include Dante Fowler Jr., Calais Campbell, Jason Pierre-Paul, Akiem Hicks, Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison and Jadeveon Clowney.