Flowers joined the Detroit Lions via free agency ahead of the 2019 regular season, signing a lucrative five-year deal worth $90 million.
Flowers had been widely considered the top free agent available and had a clear path to join the Lions with his former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia after Detroit hired him to be their next head coach.
To put it plainly, things just haven’t worked out with Trey Flowers and the Detroit Lions.
The star defensive end has not lived up to his highly-priced salary and has struggled to remain healthy. Flowers was guaranteed $56 million, but the Lions have an out at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) is usually very kind to Flowers, and even they are down on the 28-year old end in 2021. According to PFF, Flowers has earned an overall grade of 64.6 this season. That is Flowers’ lowest grade since his rookie season, where he saw four total snaps.
In comparison, Flowers earned an overall mark of 90.4 in his final season with the New England Patriots (2018) and an excellent first year in Detroit, playing to an overall mark of 82.8. The star end played 705 defensive snaps in his first year, with the Lions compiling 62 total pressures, seven sacks, and 50 total tackles.
The former Patriot followed that season up with another solid season in 2019, earning an overall grade of 83.3 but only played 309 total snaps. This season with Detroit, Flowers has played just 302 defensive snaps and has produced six total pressures and one sack. That’s not nearly enough production for a player of Flowers’ stature, and his time with Detroit seems to be nearing an end.
Per Spotrac, Flowers’ dead cap number is set at $32.8 million, down from $48 million last year, but that number significantly decreases next year. If the Detroit Lions decided to release Flowers after June 1st, the dead cap number could be spread out over two years, coming in at just $7.2 million in 2022 and $5.6 million in ’23. This move would save the Lions $16 million in ’22.
If the Lions decide to release Flowers before June 1st, his dead cap number is $11.2 million in 2022, which translates to a cap saving of just over $12 million for 2022.