By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Nobody knows just how impactful Trey Flowers is quite like Brian Flores. It’s no surprise, then, to learn that he and the Dolphins are hoping to sign the defensive end in free agency.

And according to one report, the Dolphins appear to be the favorites at this moment.

Tony Pauline of the website DraftAnalyst.com reported that “the word in Indianapolis is that the Miami Dolphins are the front runners for top-rated pass rusher Trey Flowers at this point.”

The 25-year-old Flowers is expected to earn a rather large payday this year, after he recorded 7.5 sacks, 20 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, and 57 total tackles in 2018. He also recorded two sacks and five quarterback hits in the Patriots’ run to a Super Bowl championship.

The numbers with Flowers are never gaudy, but his impact is something that’s been easy to see and appreciate over the last three years. It’s that reason that some Patriots fans might have held out hope that other teams might not value Flowers the same way the Patriots might, thus leading to him re-signing with the Patriots.

Yet Flores, who coached the Patriots’ linebackers since 2016 and who ran the defense in 2018, knows and appreciates Flowers’ value — both as a pass rusher and in the run game. Thus, the Dolphins being in hot pursuit of Flowers makes quite a bit of sense.

This is, of course, just one report, and there’s sure to be all sorts of whispers flying around Indianapolis during combine week.

Free agency begins in the NFL on March 13 at 4 p.m. Teams can place the franchise tag on players up until March 5, though the Patriots aren’t expected to use the tag on Flowers.

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