Patriots acquire Marquis Flowers in trade with Bengals

Bengals trade Marquis Flowers to Patriots

In a move that bolsters depth and could help special-teams units, the New England Patriots have acquired fourth-year linebacker Marquis Flowers from the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals received a seventh-round 2018 NFL Draft pick in the deal.

Flowers, a 2014 6th round pick, has served mostly on special teams in his National Football League career. Bates, the former University of ME star, is battling for one of what's likely to be six spots for linebackers on the Patriots' roster. He missed all of the 2015 season with a shoulder injury, but played all 16 games in each 2014 and 2016. The University of Arizona product started one game at linebacker in 2014.

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Flowers hasn't done much on defense but is a solid special teams player, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick tends to like low-priced players who can help on special teams.

Cincinnati made the trade despite having questions at the position following the five-game suspension of middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

Flowers was viewed to be on the roster bubble in 2017, and with the Bengals trading him for a late-round pick, it is an indication they felt the same way. Flowers is due a $690,000 salary on the final year of his rookie contract.

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