Patriots signing veteran DE Trey Flowers, per source: What he brings to New England

The New England Patriots are signing veteran pass rusher Trey Flowers, a league source confirmed to The Athletic on Tuesday. NFL Network first reported the signing. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Flowers played the first four seasons of his career in New England, winning two Super Bowls with the team.
  • He spent last season with the Dolphins but appeared in only four games due to a foot injury.
  • The 29-year-old, who also played three seasons in Detroit, has 31 1/2 career sacks in 79 games.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What Flowers brings to the Patriots

The addition of Flowers accomplishes two things for the Patriots. First, they bolster their defensive line depth. It’s not clear yet whether Flowers can return to playing as he did in 2018 when he had 7 1/2 sacks for the Patriots, but they don’t necessarily need that given Deatrich Wise and Keion White will presumably be ahead of Flowers on the depth chart.

Second, Flowers can provide some leadership in a Patriots locker room that is increasingly losing ties to the Super Bowls of years past. A year ago, Jamie Collins served in that role from the practice squad, helping teach younger players and remind them of the ultimate goal. Now, perhaps Flowers can serve a similar role. — Graff

What’s next for New England?

This transaction leaves the Patriots with one more open spot on their 90-man roster. Of course, all attention turns to Ezekiel Elliott. The Pats hosted the veteran running back on a visit more than a week ago, but they haven’t reached an agreement with Elliott, who remains a free agent. They have the cap space and the roster spot to make it work. But will the Pats now get more aggressive in obtaining a veteran back to spell Rhamondre Stevenson in short yardage? — Graff

Required reading

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(Photo: Megan Briggs / Getty Images)

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