What Patriots have at edge rusher now that Trey Flowers reportedly is gone


It appears official: Trey Flowers will not be in New England moving forward as he reportedly intends on signing with the Lions.

Flowers reportedly will get a deal worth close to $18 million for five years. The Patriots likely would never get into that range, as they haven't prioritized the edge rusher position from a financial standpoint in recent years, so it isn't much of a surprise he's now gone.

So, what do the Patriots have now? 

Here are the defensive ends currently under contract for 2019: Michael Bennett, Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis, Ufomba Kamalu and Trent Harris. 

Clayborn is a candidate to be released, as the team can save around $3 million against the cap and his production in 2018 didn't match his salary. Then, there are a lot of unknowns with Rivers, Davis, Kamalu and Harris, while Wise figures to see an increased role. Bennett is a nice piece to have, but at his stage of his career he should be considered more of a role player and not someone who can do a lot of things on all three downs. He's a good player to have, but he's not anywhere close to what Flowers was.

Based on this, it's clear the Patriots need to add a player or two to the mix, preferably someone with experience. Here are a few names to potentially keep an eye on in the coming days: Justin Houston, Cameron Wake and Ezekial Ansah. It would also not be a surprise to see the team draft a versatile edge player with one of their first few selections.

The edge position is now up there with wide receiver in terms of the Patriots' top offseason priority.