Lions introduce newly signed Flowers, Coleman and James

Thu Mar 14 6:40pm ET
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) Trey Flowers' 6-year old daughter has already experienced plenty of success during her father's NFL career.

''She's been fortunate to be at three Super Bowls. She has known that her daddy played for the Patriots,'' Flowers said. ''I just kind of hinted it to her: `What if daddy is a Lion? Do you like lions?' "

Flowers' daughter Skyler was apparently a bit skeptical, but the 25-year-old defensive end says her favorite color is blue. So that's a start. The big question is whether there will be any more Super Bowls in Flowers' future. The Detroit Lions have never been to one, but they can hope that the three free agents they introduced Thursday will bring them a step closer.

The Lions signed Flowers, cornerback Justin Coleman and tight end Jesse James. Detroit needed an edge rusher like Flowers because the oft-injured Ziggy Ansah was on the open market after playing with the Lions on the franchise tag last year.

Like a lot of Lions, Flowers and Coleman have ties to the New England Patriots. Flowers had a career-high 7 + sacks last season for the Super Bowl champions and 21 over the last three years in New England. The Patriots drafted him in the fourth round out of Arkansas in 2015.

Flowers joins a defensive line that got a boost in the middle of last season when Detroit traded for tackle Damon Harrison . Flowers says he hopes he can blend in and be a good teammate.

''I think that's very important - a new guy coming in, to just kind of gain the trust from his teammates and things before he kind of just comes in and act like he knows it all,'' Flowers said.

Coleman started his career in New England in 2015, when Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia - the Lions' current general manager and coach - worked for the Patriots. Coleman became a standout nickel cornerback over the last two seasons in Seattle.

Coleman went to Brunswick High School in Georgia, the same school as Detroit cornerback Darius Slay and Lions defensive back Tracy Walker. Slay turned 28 in January. Coleman is 25 and Walker is 24.

''I got a couple years with Darius. It was great playing with him,'' Coleman said. ''We never knew that we were both going to get to this point, but in high school, he was one of the best players that was on the field. He kind of just motivated me to get on the field and play a lot more. He kind of helped me along the way, just being the leader that he is. I tried to just compete with him, just so I could get better myself.''

The Lions were looking to upgrade their options at tight end a year after releasing Eric Ebron. James had 120 receptions for 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns in four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

''Offensively, I wasn't used the way that I feel like I could be used here. I feel like my ceiling here is going to be much higher than it was in the past,'' James said. ''I feel like I'm coming here, I'm going to be a key part of this offense. In Pittsburgh, I was a key part, but I think my role here could be greater.''

Although James is hopeful this move will be good for his career, he's leaving his home state. He was born in Pennsylvania and went to Penn State.

''It's a hard place to leave,'' James said. ''I grew up in Pittsburgh. My dream was to be a Steeler. I got to do that for four years. Didn't get the job done - never got to bring a Super Bowl to Pittsburgh - but my time there was a success. I've gotten a lot better, grew as a football player.''

Player Notes
Deshaun Watson Mar 19 11:20pm ET

The Houston Texans signed free-agent quarterback AJ McCarron to a one-year, $3 million deal on Tuesday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. He'll serve as the backup to Deshaun Watson in 2019. The former Alabama quarterback has played in just 12 NFL games, including seven for the Bengals in 2015 when he took over for the injured Andy Dalton. McCarron has completed 64 percent of his passes for 928 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. He won't be on the fantasy radar.

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Randall Cobb Mar 19 11:10pm ET

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Vontaze Burfict Mar 19 11:10pm ET

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Clay Matthews Mar 19 11:00pm ET

The Los Angeles Rams signed free-agent linebacker Clay Matthews to a two-year deal worth a maximum of $16.75 million, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The former first-rounder will return to his hometown. Matthews had double-digit sacks in four of his first six seasons with the Packers and was an All-Pro in 2010. The 32-year-old's play has declined in recent seasons, but he'll bring veteran leadership to an already stacked Rams unit.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick Mar 19 2:40pm ET

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Bruce Irvin Mar 19 1:50pm ET

The Carolina Panthers are expected to sign free-agent defensive end Bruce Irvin to an undisclosed deal on Tuesday, a source told NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon. The 31-year-old spent time with the Raiders and Falcons in 2018 and had 6.5 sacks in eight games with each squad. The veteran pass rusher will help fill the void left by Julius Peppers, who announced his retirement in February. Irvin should start across from Mario Addison in Carolina.

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Dan Bailey Mar 19 12:20pm ET

The Minnesota Vikings re-signed kicker Dan Bailey to a one-year, $1 million contract on Tuesday, a source informed of the deal told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The deal is worth a maximum of $2 million with incentives, and Bailey is guaranteed a base salary of $250,000. The 31-year-old joined Minnesota midseason last year and made 21 of his 28 field-goal tries (long of 52 yards) and 30 of his 31 extra points in 14 games. Bailey has struggled in recent years, but he still owns an 86.6 career conversion rate, which is fifth all time in the NFL. While his stock is a bit down, he's still kicking for a good team in a dome. Bailey should be in play at least as a low-end kicking option.

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Robert Quinn Mar 19 12:10pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys are in trade talks for Miami Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn, and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on Tuesday that Quinn was spotted on his way to visit with the Cowboys. The 28-year-old pass rusher would help with Randy Gregory suspended and David Irving moving on. Quinn had a career-high 19 sacks with the Rams in 2013 and recorded 6.5 quarterback takedowns in 2018 with the Dolphins.

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Blake Bortles Mar 18 10:30pm ET

The Los Angeles Rams signed free-agent quarterback Blake Bortles to an undisclosed one-year deal on Monday. The former long-time Jaguars starter, Bortles will now serve as the backup to Jared Goff and won't have any fantasy value. The third overall pick in the 2014 draft impressed in 2017 but regressed big time last season and was benched midseason.

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Dalvin Cook Mar 18 4:30pm ET

The Minnesota Vikings re-signed running back Ameer Abdullah to an undisclosed deal on Monday. Minnesota picked Abdullah up on waiver last year, and he ended the season the team's primary kick returner after flaming out in four seasons with the Lions. In 10 games with the Lions and Vikes last year, Abdullah had just one carry. He had 165 totes for 552 yards (3.3 yards per carry) and four touchdowns in 2017 in 14 games. Abdullah will provide depth behind Dalvin Cook and Michael Boone in 2019.

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Bashaud Breeland Mar 18 3:40pm ET

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing free-agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland to a one-year, incentive-laden deal with a max value of $5.5 million on Monday, a source told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The sixth-year defensive back was inconsistent in 2019 after he had his contract rescinded by the Panthers due to a failed physical. He appeared in only seven games for the Packers and missed time with hamstring and groin ailments. Breeland had 20 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defensed. He could be in line for a starting role with his new team.

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Haloti Ngata Mar 18 3:40pm ET

Long-time defensive lineman Haloti Ngata announced his retirement on Instagram on Monday. The 35-year-old played for the Eagles in 2018 after three years with the Lions. He'll mostly be remembered for his days on a dominant Baltimore Ravens defense. Ngata was a first-round pick in 2006 and was named to five Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro teams and two second-team All-Pro squads in nine seasons with the Ravens.

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Eli Manning Mar 18 3:30pm ET

New York Giants general manager David Gettleman said that quarterback Eli Manning, who will make a base salary of $11.5 million in 2019, isn't going anywhere. The veteran quarterback is due a $5 million roster bonus on Monday. "This narrative Eli is overpaid and can't play is a crock," Gettleman told reporters Monday during a teleconference. The 38-year-old will count $23.2 million against the salary cap this year and is coming off a season where he was sacked a career-high 47 times behind a bad offensive line. Manning and the offensive line looked better down the stretch, as he threw 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in an eight-game span. Still, Manning is showing his age with diminished arm strength and lost his best aerial weapon when the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns last week. Manning will be a low-upside, mediocre QB2 in 2019.

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Vontaze Burfict Mar 18 3:30pm ET

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Raheem Mostert Mar 17 12:00pm ET

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Marcus Mariota Mar 17 11:50am ET

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Chris Conley Mar 17 11:50am ET

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Luke Stocker Mar 17 11:50am ET

The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms on an undisclosed one-year deal with free-agent tight end Logan Paulsen on Saturday. Paulsen returns to Atlanta, where he had only nine catches for 91 yards and one touchdown in 15 games in his first season with the Falcons last year. He should not be on anyone's fantasy radar as mostly a blocking tight end behind pass-catcher Austin Hooper and Luke Stocker.

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Tyler Eifert Mar 16 8:50pm ET

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Josh Norman Mar 15 3:50pm ET

The Washington Redskins are expected to sign free-agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to an undisclosed deal, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. DRC announced his retirement just five months ago but has decided to give it another go. He'll be reunited with former Giants teammate Landon Collins, so signed a six-year deal this week. Rodgers-Cromartie will turn 33 on April 7, and it's fair to wonder how much he has left physically. He has plenty of experience and is expected to offer cornerback depth on a team that also has Josh Norman.

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