Let this be a lesson to all you who aspire to be charming, clever, handsome, desirable Patriots bloggers. Dare to dream big. Don't ever hold back. Believe in yourself. Don't be shy. Put your thoughts out there. Hope for the best. Consequences be damned. Take that advice from your Life Coach, Old Balls.
By way of example, here's a little thing I posted last year:
It's a tale as old as the Patriots Dynasty itself. Man becomes a Patriot. The Patriots make him great. Patriot plays crucial role in winning a championship. Jealous opponent wants to win championship too. Opponent way overspends for Patriot. New Team can't figure out how to make player as great as he was as a Patriot. Buyer's remorse kicks in. Team releases player. And - in the best of situations - player becomes a Patriot once more. Greatness ensues.
It's happened so many times where playing in the Pats system has made someone rich far beyond what he could've earned otherwise, I don't have the time or the motivation to list them all. …
Instead, I'll talk about some of the guys who left Foxboro for big money, found that success eluded them elsewhere, and then returned like prodigal sons. Deion Branch for one. Pat Chung for another. Plus Brandon Bolden. Jamie Collins was originally traded, but he's come back twice since. Kyle Van Noy is another. Trent Brown of course. Some others. And now, it feels like Flowers would be the ideal candidate to - borrowing a phrase here - get back to where he once belonged.
To that list of names we can now add Malcolm Butler, though he never made it to the active roster due to an injury settlement. And they reportedly made a run at Stephon Gilmore. But that last sentence? It has finally come to fruition:
On a related note, RIP, Pee Wee.
Now, I'll admit that the Trey Flowers the Pats just brought back into the fold is not the same Trey Flowers that signed a 5-year, $90 million, $18 million per year, $40 million guaranteed deal with Matt Patricia's Lions back in 2019. After missing just a handful of games in New England and Detriot from 2016-19, he only got on the field for seven in 2020, seven in 2021, and four games last year in Miami.
But Flowers only turns 30 next week. And last season, despite being limited to 46 pass rush snaps, still managed eight pressures. And as we've seen with some of the other names I mentioned, it's not uncommon for players who've thrived in Bill Belichick's systems to see their production drop off considerably when being coached by lesser beings. Branch, Chung and Van Noy being the prime examples. The wand chooses the wizard, Harry.
And how good was Flowers in Belichick's scheme? The short answer could easily be Five Years and $40 Million Guaranteed Good. But since it's crass to talk about money in polite company, let's look at what the anayltics said about him:
And his contemporaries:
And I would risk getting my lisence to post Shameless Patriots Fanboy Nonsense revoked if I didn't mention his performances in big games. Flowers' postseason numbers:
Games: 9. Solo Tackles: 21, Total tackles: 39, QB Hits: 22, Sacks: 5.5
Now coming back to resurrect his career like a Phoenix from the ashes. Despite the fact he doesn't need the money. Welcome back with open arms that sport cut off hoodie sleeves. Because Belichick recognizes what a valuable asset this former 4th rounder (101st overall) became for him. And how to best put him in a position to use his skill set to become valuable once more. And, if all goes according to plan, start making game-changing, championship-winning clutch plays like the glory days.