Tre Flowers

Bengals Claim CB Tre Flowers

The Bengals added a cornerback with extensive starting experience Thursday, doing so without giving up an asset. They claimed Tre Flowers off waivers.

The Seahawks cut Flowers earlier this week, ending a three-plus-season tenure. That run included 40 starts, with three of those coming this season. Flowers fell out of favor with the team recently, being benched for Sidney Jones. Flowers will have the opportunity to rebuild his stock in Cincinnati.

Flowers’ rookie contract runs through the end of this season. The Bengals have considerable capital invested at corner, with veteran free agency additions Trae Waynes, Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton on the team. Waynes, however, has been unable to stay healthy and is currently on IR with a hamstring injury.

When targeted in coverage the past two seasons, Flowers has struggled. Quarterbacks who threw Flowers’ way compiled a collective 78% completion rate in 2020 and a 77% success rate this season. Though, those coverage sample sizes were smaller compared to Flowers’ first two years, when he started a combined 30 games for the Seahawks in the wake of Richard Sherman‘s departure. As a full-time starter in 2019, Flowers allowed QBs to complete 60% of their passes when he was in coverage. Despite being targeted 101 times, the 6-foot-3 corner only gave up one touchdown in 2019.

Pete Carroll said Wednesday that Flowers did not request a Seattle departure, but the 12th-year Seahawks HC indicated it was time for a separation. Flowers will head to a Bengals team that, at 3-2, is off to its best start in three years.

West Rumors: Broncos, Cards, Hicks, Hawks

The Bears briefly entertained the prospect of trading standout defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, but they reconsidered and brought the former All-Pro back for his sixth season in Chicago. Shortly after free agency began, the Bears gave Hicks permission to find a trade partner. Nothing materialized, but the Chargers were monitoring this situation through the preseason, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (ESPN+ link). Hicks, 31, has a history with Bolts HC Brandon Staley, who was on the Bears’ defensive staff — as outside linebackers coach — under Vic Fangio from 2017-18. The 11th-year veteran’s contract expires at season’s end. Should the Bears falter against a tough October schedule, Hicks could be a name to watch as the Nov. 2 trade deadline approaches. The $7MM-plus left on his 2021 salary would be a difficult accommodation for most teams, but that number will drop closer to $5MM by the deadline. A groin injury sidelined Hicks in Week 5, but he remains on the Bears’ active roster.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Staying on the trade front, the Broncos received inquiries on their two contract-year corners — Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan — along with Ronald Darby. The veteran defenders came up in talks leading up to the season, but new Denver GM George Paton set a fairly high asking price. The Broncos sought a third- or fourth-round pick in a deal for one of their vets, Fowler adds, scuttling talks. The Saints made a strong push for Fuller, which came months after New Orleans’ aggressive pursuit of Denver’s No. 9 overall pick — which was used to take Patrick Surtain II. While Denver has made multiple deadline deals in recent years, involving receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, it would likely take a tumble out of contention for the team to deal from its corner surplus.
  • The Cardinals are likely to be without Chandler Jones as they attempt to move their unbeaten run to 6-0. While vaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 can return after two negative tests 24 hours apart, Kliff Kingsbury said Jones is experiencing symptoms and that it would be “a stretch” for him to play against the Browns, via SI.com’s Howard Balzer (on Twitter). Jones is vaccinated. News of the veteran pass rusher’s positive test circulated Tuesday, creating a narrow window for him to recover in time.
  • Arizona will also be without center Rodney Hudson. The acclaimed O-lineman is battling a rib injury, and Kingsbury declared him out Wednesday. Seventh-year pro Max Garcia will step in for the Cards’ Pro Bowl snapper.
  • Blake Bortles auditioned for the Seahawks on Tuesday, but Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes they are not expected to sign him (Twitter link). Seattle instead re-signed Danny Etling, who was with the team from August 2020 to August of ’21. Etling is currently on the Seahawks’ practice squad. Bortles has not been able to land a steady gig since the 2019 season, when he backed up Jared Goff with the Rams.
  • Pete Carroll said Tre Flowers did not request to be waived, Condotta adds (via Twitter). The Flowers transaction went through Wednesday, so a claim would surface by Thursday afternoon — if a team is to claim the fourth-year cornerback. The Seahawks have used former second-round pick Sidney Jones in Flowers’ place in the past two games.

Seahawks To Waive CB Tre Flowers

The Seahawks are moving on from cornerback Tre Flowers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The fourth-year defender will land on waivers midway through his contract year.

This move comes at Flowers’ request, per Rapoport. The Seahawks stationed Flowers as a starter during the season’s first three games but relegated him to a special teams-only participant in Weeks 4 and 5. Flowers had been with the Seahawks since being drafted in the 2018 fifth round.

Despite being a Day 3 draftee, Flowers began his career as a full-time starter with Seattle. He and Shaquill Griffin lined up as the team’s primary first-string corners in 2018 and ’19. The Seahawks drafted Flowers shortly after releasing Richard Sherman. Flowers, however, lost his starting gig last year. He regained it in Week 1, months after the Seahawks let Griffin defect to the Jaguars in free agency.

Pro Football Focus has not viewed Flowers’ work in a favorable light since his rookie season, rating him outside the top 80 at cornerback in each of the ensuing three years. While this season still has a ways to go, Flowers not being able to crack a Seahawks rotation — during a season in which the team ranks last in total defense — has further reduced his stock. Flowers, 26, has not played a defensive snap since Week 3.

The Seahawks, who rank 30th in pass defense, moved Sidney Jones into their starting lineup in Week 4 opposite D.J. Reed. The team acquired Jones, a former Washington Husky, via trade from the Jaguars just before the season.

Seahawks Notes: Wilson, Carroll, Dunlap

One of the reasons for the trade rumors swirling around Seahawks QB Russell Wilson — and perhaps the primary reason — is Wilson’s relationship with head coach Pete Carroll, which appears to be strained. Apparently, his relationship with Carroll’s sons hasn’t been much better.

According to a tweet from The Athletic, Wilson believes Carroll and his sons, Nolan and Brennan, answer to no one (Nolan serves as the team’s WRs coach, and Brennan had been working as the run game coordinator before accepting a position at the University of Arizona). And, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Wilson is 100% correct.

Former owner Paul Allen “stayed deep in the background” when he was alive, and his sister, Jody Allen, has largely done the same since she inherited the team. Some league sources believe the Seahawks are essentially run by the Allens’ parent company, Vulcan Inc., which in turn defers to the head coach as the club’s de facto CEO. So while Jody Allen could intervene in light of the Wilson trade rumblings, her track record suggests that she will not do so, and that Pete Carroll will ultimately be the one to decide whether to deal Wilson.

While Wilson himself has said he does not expect to be dealt, Florio believes the 32-year-old will ultimately request a trade either this year or next. If QB and HC do not mend fences soon, it’s easy to envision such a scenario.

Now for more from the Emerald City:

  • Unlike Florio, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com does not believe Wilson will be traded. One of the reasons for that is the fact that — as our Sam Robinson wrote several days ago in the piece linked above — a trade will leave $39MM in dead money on the Seahawks’ cap. While a post-June 1 trade will allow the team to spread out that hit and actually create $19MM in 2021 space, Seattle is lacking a first-rounder and third-rounder this season, so a Wilson trade might be more beneficial if it happened prior to this year’s draft and not after June 1.
  • Still, Henderson believes the ‘Hawks will make a trade that both sheds some salary — the team has less than $8MM of cap space relative to the $180MM floor — and adds some much-needed draft capital. There is no indication as of yet that Seattle will look to trade players like Carlos Dunlap, Bobby Wagner, or Jamal Adams, but Henderson could see it happening.
  • As of now, though, Henderson predicts that the club will cut Dunlap and look to re-sign him to a less expensive contract — the former Bengal is due to carry a $14.1MM cap hit in 2021 — while restructuring the contract of franchise icon Wagner and extending 2020 trade acquisition Adams.
  • Proven performance escalators for several 2018 draftees have played a role in Seattle’s cap crunch. Since he earned a Pro Bowl nod in his rookie season, punter Michael Dickson has a $3.384MM salary for 2021 — the amount of the second-round RFA tender — while cornerback Tre Flowers is due to earn $2.183MM since he met the snap count requirement for the Level One PPE (Twitter link via Henderson). If you need a refresher, OverTheCap.com offers a comprehensive explanation of PPEs.
  • Presently, the Seahawks’ highest draft choice is their second-rounder (No. 56 overall). Given the state of the club’s offensive line, and Wilson’s recent comments in that regard, most mocks have Seattle selecting an OL with that pick, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times observes. Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis and Tennessee guard Trey Smith would be worthy Day 2 selections.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/2/21

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed off Jets’ practice squad: G Blake Hance
  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Karl Joseph
  • Promoted: G Cordell Iwuagwu, LB Montrel Meander, T Alex Taylor

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted: DB John Brannon

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Seahawks Move CB Tre Flowers To IR

The Seahawks now have two of their cornerback starters on IR. They placed Tre Flowers on the injured list Saturday, per Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter), sidelining him for at least three games.

Flowers will join Quinton Dunbar on Seattle’s IR and leave the team thin on the boundary. Shaquill Griffin does not have much in the way of experienced coverage help at the moment.

It is unlikely Flowers will miss the rest of the season; he is battling a hamstring ailment. And if there was an ideal time for the Seahawks to be without a starting defender, this would be it. Over the next three weeks, the Seahawks will play the Giants, Jets and Washington.

The third-year corner has been a starter for most of his Seattle tenure. Although the Dunbar trade minimized Flowers to a degree, the former fifth-round pick has remained essential to Seattle’s defensive equation. He has started seven games this season, albeit for one of the league’s worst pass defenses. Having played 15 games (all starts) in each of his first two seasons, this will be Flowers’ longest absence as a pro.

Seahawks Sign LB Shaquem Griffin

The Seahawks have officially signed fifth-round linebacker Shaquem Griffin and fifth-round defensive back Tre Flowers. With those moves, only defensive end Rasheem Green remains unsigned, as shown on PFR’s tracker

Griffin was one of the most inspirational stories to come out of this year’s draft. The UCF product lost his left hand due to a rare condition but never gave up on his football dream. Last year, he was first-team all-American Athletic Conference as he notched 74 tackles (13.5 for loss), a team-high seven sacks, one interception, three pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. The Seahawks, who believe that he’ll make a fine weakside linebacker at the pro level, have paired him with his twin brother Shaquill Griffin, who plays cornerback for Seattle.

As shown on Roster Resource, the rookie linebacker projects to serve as the first outside linebacker off of the bench in support of starters Barkevious Mingo and K.J. Wright. Flowers, meanwhile, will move from safety to cornerback where he’ll fight for time in reserve alongside Dontae Johnson, Byron Maxwell, and others. Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin will be the team’s first-string corners.

To make room for the new additions, the Seahawks have waived defensive ends Marcell Frazier and Noble Nwachukwu. Seattle also confirmed the signings of wide receiver Keenan Reynolds and linebacker Dadi Nicolas, which were reported on Wednesday.