Flowers, a 2015 fourth-round pick out of Arkansas, had been considered arguably the top player available in free agency this year after prominent pass rushers such as DeMarcus Lawrence and Dee Ford remained with their current teams. He had been effective in his three years playing a prominent role in New England, but the Patriots decided to trade for Michael Bennett rather than sign Flowers to a lucrative extension.
The Lions have been active under head coach Matt Patricia in pursuing players from his former team. Detroit already signed former Pats receiver Danny Amendola to a one-year deal earlier Monday. Now they’ve added one of New England’s top players from a unit that he presided over as defensive coordinator from 2012-17.
Flowers recorded 57 tackles and 7.5 sacks in 15 games with the Patriots last season. The 25-year-old has recorded between 6.5 and 7.5 sacks in each of the last three seasons.