Patriots Bolster Defense; Add Flowers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Help is on the way.
The New England Patriots have traded a seventh-round pick to the Cincinnatti Bengals for reserve linebacker Marquis Flowers.
Flowers, a 2013 sixth-round draft pick out of Arizona, played in all 16 games the past two seasons, mostly on special teams, as he bounced back nicely after missing all of 2015 with a shoulder injury that occurred in the preseason.
The Patriots have not been shy about plucking Bengals players who are under the radar, as the team added running back Rex Burkhead this offseason as well as tight end Matt Lengel, who was recently cut by the team. Fullback James Develin was also a member of the Bengals’ practice squad before coming to Foxboro.
These types of low risk trades have become commonplace for New England, as it has shown a propensity to pick up players who are may not be as valued to their respective teams and find a way to plug them in and play.
A few examples that come to mind are the past additions of linebacker Kyle Van Noy from the Detroit Lions last year, as well as Akeem Ayers from the Tennessee Titans in 2014.
With the team parting ways with the disappointing Kony Ealy, a roster spot has opened up, which allowed the Patriots to add a piece to their roster.
Belichick has long valued special teams and the importance of field position, and he just added another weapon at his disposal.
As far as how Wilson fits in line linebacking core, he could be used as a much-needed depth piece to go alongside the aging David Harris, who has seemed slow during the preseason.
If that wasn’t enough, Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal notes that Flowers lined up at safety for the Wildcats for two seasons before transitioning over to linebacker.
Bill Belichick loves a player with some versatility, which Flowers brings.