ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Trey Flowers knew what was coming. His agent had called moments earlier on Monday afternoon. He had agreed to a deal with the Detroit Lions, making him one of the richest defensive players in football.
So with his father nearby, Flowers just sat back and watched it all unfold on live TV before picking up his 6-year-old daughter, Skyler, from school.
“I was just chilling in the living room, me and my dad,” Flowers said. “My dad, he likes sports, he’s a sports fan, we’re a sports family. He had the TV on in the house, NFL Network, hearing all the news and stuff. Sometimes I try to get away from it because I’m around it all the time.”
Then he celebrated with his family. Flowers said he plans on putting most of the money away, other than taking care of his parents, who sat off to the side of the podium inside the Lions’ practice facility Thursday while watching their son at his introductory news conference.
The press availability happened with the Lions, in part, because of the familiarity Flowers had with Lions coach Matt Patricia. The Lions gave him $90 million over five years ($56 million guaranteed) because they believe they know what they are getting in him.
Flowers recognizes there are higher expectations of him now — more than the 21 sacks he accumulated over the past three seasons playing for the Patriots. He needs to be “a disruptor” and improve his overall game. And he admitted that the Lions signed a player who is “definitely not a finished product,” even though on the field come September he’s going to have to play like one. The Lions are paying him like they expect him to be a dominant force.
In Patricia, Flowers believes he’ll have the coach to get him there.
“Just from when I came to New England, he was there,” Flowers said. “He kind of taught me a lot of things, developed me. I developed through his system and things. He’s just a great guy to work for. Obviously, he demands a high standard of excellence from his players, and you get somebody that can challenge you like that, day in and day out, for you to continue to get better.
“Those are the type of guys you want to play for because they are expecting highly of you and they want you to be at your best.”
Flowers said that wherever the Lions put him on the field, he knows he’ll be productive. And if it’s a spot he hasn’t been in before, he’s going to put in the time to make sure he learns it as quickly as possible. They are likely to move him all across the defensive line as they try to find him mismatches alongside their other line pieces: Damon Harrison, Romeo Okwara and A’Shawn Robinson.
Decision over, Flowers did have to tell one more person the family was moving on from New England — his daughter. After trying to use the animal card (do you like lions?) and her favorite color (blue), he went a different route to make her feel good about the move: food.
“She understands,” Flowers said. “We’re probably going to be able to buy a little bit more McDonald’s.”
If she wasn’t convinced, all she needs to know about her dad’s new contract is this: He can afford close to 27 million Happy Meals.