BOSTON (CBS) — After exploring free agency, linebacker Marquis Flowers has decided to return to the Patriots.

The 26-year-old linebacker re-signed with New England on a one-year deal worth up to $2.55 million.

Flowers was a late addition to the Patriots’ roster in 2017, joining New England via trade in late August in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick. Given the late start on learning the playbook and the system, he contributed almost exclusively on special teams for the first half of the season. But his usage on defense grew in the second half of the year. He recorded 27 tackles (21 solo, six assists) and 3.5 sacks in the final seven games of the regular season. He had a sack and six tackles in three playoff games, and he was on the field for 37 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps.

Prior to joining the Patriots, the 6-foot-3, 231-pound Flowers spent two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him in the sixth round of the 2014 draft.

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