Sometimes a roster move is so obvious that you know it’s going to happen before it even does. A good example would be when the New England Patriots released Marquis Flowers this weekend. He’s a name many thought the Detroit Lions would target in free agency, but the young linebacker chose to stay in New England.
But after he was cut by the Patriots this week, you just knew Matt Patricia was going to go get him, and, indeed, that’s exactly what happened according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Patriots’ contingent in Detroit doing New England things: Former Patriots’ OLB Marquis Flowers is signing with the Lions, per @seanstellato.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 3, 2018
“I’ll never forgot, I was walking in the hallway and coach Matt Patricia came up to me and said, basically, to keep trying to get better and he likes me, believes in me and really believes I can help the team win,” Flowers said. “That was the first time I ever heard that from a defensive coordinator since I’ve been in [the NFL]. I’m like, ‘whoa. Is he lying?’ Then I went home and it put even more [confidence] in me – like, ‘come on, this is not where you’ve been. You’ve got a chance to help the team win.’ I can just say that coach Matt Patricia and coach Brian Flores, they believed in me.”
After being just a special teams guy with the team that drafted him—the Cincinnati Bengals—Flowers had a somewhat breakout year last year in New England. He played in all 16 games, made two starts, and tallied 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
Those aren’t exactly eye-popping numbers, but this is a Lions team that needs some serious depth at linebacker, and Flowers is a guy that knows exactly what Patricia is looking for in the position.
The Lions will obviously have to make a corresponding move to fit Flowers on the roster. If Detroit decides to replace another linebacker on the roster, Trevor Bates is the most likely player to be cut. However, Detroit does have a surplus of players at other positions (coughwidereceivercough) that could be trimmed.