During this time of year at NFL training camps, teams always look for knowledge of systems, experience and familiarity with the organization when signing additional players to help and upgrade their rosters moving forward.
The New England Patriots, looking to return to the NFL playoffs after missing out last season across Massachusetts sportsbooks, reportedly did just that on Tuesday morning, signing former two-time Patriots Super Bowl winner and veteran linebacker and pass rusher Trey Flowers to a contract.
Following the news of New England reuniting with Flowers, BetMassachusetts.com took a break from covering the best Massachusetts sportsbook promos, and utilized Pro-Football-Reference.com to determine the most impactful second-stint Patriots of the Bill Belichick era.
Here is what we found out.
Second-Stint Patriots Under Belichick
The arguable best of the bunch was safety Patrick Chung (2014-19). After returning to Foxboro following a one-year stint in Philadelphia in 2013, Chung played 91 more games with 319 tackles (11 for loss) and four interceptions. Oh yeah, he also helped Tom Brady and the Pats to three more Super Bowl titles.
Cornerback Otis Smith (2000-02) played in 45 games with 163 tackles (seven for loss), eight interceptions (two for touchdowns) and one Super Bowl crown once he came back to the Pats. Smith is a bit of a caveat though. While he played for then-defensive coordinator Belichick and the Pats during the 1996 season, 2000 was technically his first under Belichick as a head coach.
Running back LeGarrette Blount (2014-2016) played in 33 more games over two-plus years, amassing nearly 1,000 rush yards per season (1,864 yards total) on 524 attempts with 27 TDs and 2 Super Bowl titles.
Other notable success stories include Tully Banta-Cain and widely popular wideout Deion Branch.
NOTE: BetMassachusetts.com will be following the Patriots odds all season.
Flowers Looks To Recapture Past Form
First off, Flowers ended his career with the Pats in 2018 after winning his second Super Bowl with the team. He recorded 203 tackles and 26.5 sacks, good enough to be named to the Patriots’ All-Decade Team for the 2010s.
Flowers had signed a five-year, $90 million contract to play for the Detroit Lions and former Patriot assistant Matt Patricia, but injuries hampered him throughout his time in Motown. He was released by the Lions in March 2022.
Last season, he landed on the Miami Dolphins but only played four games as he was placed on injured reserve due to a foot injury.
Injuries aside, it looks like Belichick is hoping to reignite the spark that Flowers provided since he was selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He could provide a much-needed lift to the defense, which ranked 11th in the league, giving up an average of 20.4 points per game last season.
Perhaps a big season could even garner Flowers some Comeback Player of the Year odds on Massachusetts betting apps.