Ok, I know, Trey Flowers is the consummate professional. I know that Jamie Collins has been our best linebacker too, in the past. The two are among the top 5 paid players on the team too.
I just couldn't help to notice that the team played better with both of them absent. Rushing the passer is a necessity in today's NFL. Flowers isn't that. With him out of there yesterday the Lions racked up 4 sacks! Charles Harris, Austin Bryant, and Julian Okwara added active pressure that I think was missing with Flowers. Romeo Okwara excelled too with the complimentary pressure offered from the opposite side. The interior defensive line looked better too.
I don't know if the Lions will trade Collins. I don't know if there's any discussion of trying to trade Flowers too. I just think that the idea should be on everyone's mind. It just might be that unloading the two former Patriots is a way of improving the defense.
Alex Anzalone, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Derrick Barnes are the future for the Lions linebacker corp. Hopefully more reinforcements will be added next year too. The activity, style of play, speed, energy, and size of these players seems to be what the Lions have needed.
Could we see the Okwara brothers become the new "Bruise Brothers"? With Bryant, Harris, and perhaps another addition next year, this could be a very solid unit.
Levi Onwuzurike, Alim McNeill, Michael Brockers, Nick Williams, John Penisini, and Kevin Strong seem like a great interior unit in the making. Whether they all stick together next season is a guess at this point, but when's the last time you could say that about hoping any defensive unit would stick together for another year?
Ah the secondary... it still needs help. Yet, remember that Jeff Okudah and Ifeatu Melifonwu will be back and could offer help. I tend to believe that they will need more than that though. Yet, AJ Parker, Jerry Jacobs, and perhaps one of the free agents just arriving will prove to offer more help than we might expect.
I stand by my belief that this is a blue collar type of team and Collins and Flowers really didn't fit that mold with their huge contracts. More, their energy and style are not the right fit. Could the pair be traded to a contender where they'd be happier and play better? They are well thought of, I think, throughout the NFL. On the right team, maybe they'd be stars.