As reported last week, the Detroit Lions officially released veteran defensive end Trey Flowers on Wednesday, the first official day of the 2022 NFL new year. As a result of the move, the Lions have created nearly $10.4 million in cap space*, but will eat over $12.8 million in dead cap from the five-year, $90 million contract Flowers signed three years ago. In total, Flowers saw about $54 million of that contract over three seasons.
Along with the official announcement, the Lions released a joint statement on the move from both head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes.
“We speak on behalf of our entire organization in thanking Trey for his contributions to the Detroit Lions over the last three years,” the statement read. “He has been an exemplary leader for our team both on and off the field and has helped us set a foundation for the future. Trey is a man of integrity who embodies what it means to serve his community and stand for something larger than yourself. We wish him and his family success as he enters the next stage in his career.”
In Flowers’ three years in Detroit, he tallied 60 tackles, 10.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. He played in 29 games, with injuries causing him to miss 20 others, including 19 in the past two seasons.
Flowers is now immediately a free agent capable of signing anywhere he pleases.
To help replace Flowers, the Lions are reportedly re-signing Charles Harris on a two-year, $13 million deal. Detroit is also hopeful that Romeo Okwara, who missed 13 games last season with a torn Achilles, will be ready by training camp.
Note: It is not yet clear if Flowers’ release was a normal cut or a June 1 release. If it’s a June 1 release, it does not create any immediate cap relief, but once his contract comes off the books on June 1, he would create a total of $16 million in cap space for 2022, but would count over $5.6 million against the 2023 cap. If it’s a normal release, he will not cost anything against the 2023 cap.
UPDATE: Flowers was not a June 1 release.