Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes spoke to the media Tuesday for the first time since the season began, and we got a lot of glimpses into his role in many of the season’s decisions. One decision that has yet to be made? The future of Trey Flowers. While Holmes didn’t give an answer as to what Flowers’ future with the team looks like, he kicked the can down the road in a way that certainly looks like all options are on the table.
“He’s what we’re all about in terms of grit and being just a football player,” Holmes said of Flowers. “So, it was unfortunate when he had to deal with what he had to deal with. But, again, those discussions are going to be for down the road.”
Question of the day: Will Trey Flowers remain a Detroit Lion in 2022?
My answer: I don’t think so.
There’s a lot in play here, but it’s fairly telling that Brad Holmes admitted that there will be a discussion around Flowers’ future to begin with. Obviously, that’s a conversation that a GM must have about almost every play on the roster during the offseason, but given Flowers’ circumstances I’m inclined to read into it, probably more so than I should.
Let’s discuss those circumstances. Flowers, now three seasons into the five-year, $90 million contract he signed ahead of the 2019 season, has fallen well short of expectations. He has yet to play a complete season, including playing just seven games in each of the past two seasons. While Flowers’ strong-suit has always been more of an edge-setter in the run game than a true pass-rusher, he has all but disappeared as the latter. He has amassed just 3.5 sacks in those past two seasons, with 1.5 of them coming across his seven starts this season.
This is a team that’s getting younger and rebuilding. Next year likely isn’t a contending year just yet, and the Lions look like they have cornerstones at the edge position on their roster. Holmes praised Charles Harris’ career revival, saying he (and Tracy Walker) “fit what we’re about.” While the Lions don’t have Harris under contract for next season, it’s a near certainty he’ll cost a fraction of Flowers’ $18 million/year price tag. Likewise, the return of Romeo Okwara and the emergence of Julian Okwara mean the Lions have a strong young core of pass rushers heading into 2022.
Speaking of Flowers’ price tag, his cap numbers scream veteran cut. Should the Lions part ways with him this offseason, they’ll free up over $10 million in cap space. That’s enough to pay Charles Harris and make a dent in Tracy Walker’s new contract, but hey, that’s up to Brad Holmes.
At the end of the day, Flowers hasn’t been the player the Lions signed him to be, and he wasn’t even signed by the current regime. With a young core ready to step in and lots of money to be saved, the writing is on the wall for Flowers’ time in Detroit. It’s likely a matter of when, not if, his time as a Lion comes to an end this offseason.
Do you agree? Should the Lions give Flowers one more run for his money? Vote in the poll below.
Will Trey Flowers remain a Lion in 2022?