On the New England Patriots' way to securing yet another Super Bowl title, defensive end Trey Flowers was an instrumental part in fortifying a defense that was often underwhelming in regular season play.

Originally, it was predicted that the Patriots would use the franchise tag on Flowers once free agency began, but now trends are indicating that's no longer the case. 

​​The Patriots are no stranger to passing on talent if they believe that they will have to overpay for it. The tag for ​Flowers is expected to cost more than $17 million dollars, which will hurt their flexibility in improving the roster. Plus, as instrumental as he seems now, when's the last time New England passed on big money for a defender and regretted it?

Regardless, the news comes as a shock due to the showing of the ​Patriots defense during the 2018-19 playoffs. Quarterback Tom Brady continues to age, and with their lack of offensive weapons evident, having a reliable defense should be the priority.

​​Flowers is expected to receive huge offers by several teams once he is a free agent. If the Patriots defense struggles next season and is unable to support ​Brady, look for this potential move to be seen as one of the few mistakes during the Belichick era.