Flowers Bloomed In New England But Pats Don’t Tag Any In Free Agency

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 4:57 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019 4:57 PM UTC

The New England Patriots will allow defensive end, Trey Flowers, to explore free agency among other notable names. Let’s check out this and other possible defections from the Super Bowl champs.


<p>Bill Belichick has carved out a storied legacy in New England which is unmatched in the history of the National Football League. We can write three pages of superlatives but that’s no fun so let’s briefly touch on some of his miscues. First among them would be relegating Malcolm Butler, his starting corner throughout the season, to the sidelines in the team’s Super Bowl 52 loss to the Eagles. The Pats’ secondary was torched for three passing touchdowns and 373 yards from backup Nick Foles yet Belichick kept Butler on the pine. No explanation was ever given other than the typical Belichickian response that he did what he thought was best for the team. We know the Patriots lost without Butler but what we will never know is the result had he played. The result could not be worse than losing the Super Bowl due to an anemic secondary so it’s easy to chalk that one up to Belichick’s biggest blunder.</p><p>[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><p>Secondly, we can view his trades with much skepticism. Getting a second-rounder for a highly touted backup like Jimmy Garoppolo and the same for a defensive end of the caliber of Chandler Jones doesn’t smack of due diligence. Lastly, and more to the point of this article was letting one of the best cornerbacks at the time, Asante Samuel, walk away without an adequate replacement back in 2008. And that’s what we are here to talk about as free agency begins and the Patriots watch Trey Flowers, Trent Brown, and Steven Gostkowski among the most notable enter the market without a franchise tag. The <a href="" title="NFL Odds Board">NFL odds </a>from the best online sportsbooks are hanging the Patriots as anywhere from 6-1 to 8-1 to capture another Super Bowl title next season but things could change if New England allows too much talent to walk out the door.</p><p><strong>Trey Flowers – </strong>The talented defensive end has flourished in his first four seasons as a fourth-round pick out of Arkansas. Now that Demarcus Lawrence (Dallas), Frank Clark (Seattle), Dee Ford (Kansas City), and Jadeveon Clowney (Houston) all have been slapped with the franchise tag, Flowers becomes the most coveted edge rusher in free agency after registering 7½ sacks last season.</p><p><strong>Trent Brown – </strong>Bill Belichick is no Danny Ainge (GM of the Boston Celtics) when it comes to horse trading, but he did quite nicely when he wheeled a deal with the 49ers to acquire massive blindside tackle Trent Brown to replace an oft-injured Nate Solder. I’m scratching my head on this one because Brown is a pup at just 25-years-old and looks like a franchise tackle to not only me but many of the pundits who have questioned the wisdom of allowing Brown to potentially walk. Maybe the Patriots are just biding their time, evaluating the offers, and will swoop in to sign Brown at a premium. But if indeed he does don another jersey next season it could be an egregious error that will impact Tom Brady’s protection for the foreseeable future.</p><p><strong>Steven Gostkowski – </strong>The last time New England let a franchise kicker go because the money was deemed too steep, Adam Vinatieri became an Indianapolis Colt and the Pats drafted Gostkowski in the fourth round of the 2006 draft. No harm, no foul, it all worked splendidly for all parties concerned. Gostkowski was considered virtually automatic until a few seasons ago but at the age of 35, we can’t blame the Patriots for not wanting to part with nearly $6 million for an aging kicker.</p><p><strong>The Receiving Corps – </strong>Chris Hogan is a complementary receiver with a little giddy-up while Phillip Dorsett is the true speed merchant of the group. Cordarrelle Patterson seems to be the best fit as he is the most versatile, a characteristic that has been, as the French like to say, the sine qua non of Belichick’s tenure.</p><p><strong>Other Notables – </strong>First-round pick and defensive tackle Malcolm Brown’s fifth year team option on his rookie deal was not triggered so he will be a free agent as will backup tackle LaAdrian Waddle, Danny Shelton (DT), Jason McCourty (DB), Eric Rowe (DB), Jeremy Hill (RB), and punter Ryan Allen. Keep your eyes peeled because what New England does in free agency and in the draft could go a long way to determining your <a href="" title="Check the NFL Picks Page">NFL picks </a>next season.</p>
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