The New England Patriots faced a potential uphill fight to re-sign edge rusher Trey Flowers, and they appear to have a different solution in mind. The Patriots are trading for Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, according to multiple reports. The deal will involve Bennett and the Eagles seventh round pick in 2020 for the Patriots fifth round pick in 2020, according to Eagles reporter Jeff McLane.
Flowers is looking at a quality market thanks to teams using the franchise tag on big names like DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, and Frank Clark. Flowers is at or near the top of a market that is not exactly overly impressive. There are talented players, but guys like Dante Fowler and Ezekiel Ansah are not exactly cornerstone players.
We might look back on this as another genius move by the Patriots. Bennett is still a very solid player who will likely cost significantly less than Flowers. Additionally, depending on how the Patriots approach the free agent market, they could end up getting a third round compensatory pick for Flowers. The Eagles are not giving up that pick, but New England is effectively trading Flowers and a seventh for Bennett, a third, and a fifth. It’s possible Bennett hits a wall and they get nothing out of him, while Flowers has a monster season next year. But even still, playing the odds, this is a worthwhile move.
For the 49ers, this likely means Trey Flowers is not going to be returning to New England. I won’t rule it out entirely, but this seems like a short-term replacement move with a chance of finding a replacement in a deep edge rusher class this year. But for the 49ers, who need to add some serious talent on the edge, I would imagine they will be inquiring with Flowers to see what kind of price we’re talking about.