Clock Ticking for Seahawks CB Tre Flowers to Take Next Step in Third Season
With the Seahawks looking for improved results from their defense next season, th secondary could certainly benefit from a better performance from cornerback Tre Flowers during his third season in the league.
Despite being selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Flowers made a solid impression during training camp and performed well in the preseason, eventually being thrown into the starting lineup in Week 1 by coach Pete Carroll. Starting across from teammate Shaquill Griffin, the Oklahoma State product surprised most experts and performed very well during his inaugural season with the Seahawks.
Over his 15 regular season games, the converted safety started in each matchup and produced 67 total tackles, 55 solo tackles, six pass deflections, and three forced fumbles. In addition, he also made one playoff start against the Cowboys and recorded a pair of solo tackles in a losing effort.
Following his promising rookie campaign, the Seahawks were expecting Flowers to take another leap with his development this past season. While the 25-year old finished tied for the team lead in interceptions (three) and made a solid impact as a blitzer (2.0 sacks), he struggled to produce consistent results in pass coverage and couldn’t bring ball carriers to the ground effectively.
Now halfway through his rookie contract, the third-year pro could be in danger of losing his starting gig if he’s unable to improve his craft in 2020. If Quinton Dunbar avoids a suspension from the league and is permitted to play, then the former Redskin could potentially take over as the starter on the right side of Seattle’s secondary in Week 1.
Regardless of which player earns the nod to open the 2020 campaign as the starter, Flowers will still need to make a conscious effort to take his development to the next level with just two years left on his rookie deal. If not, he might not receive a second contract from the Seahawks before reaching free agency in 2022.
Starting with his inconsistencies in pass coverage, the 6-foot-3 cornerback struggled to contain talented receivers at times this past season. In particular, the former fifth-round selection endured most of his issues against the 49ers, Saints, and Packers.
Over those four matchups – three regular season games and one playoff contest – Flowers allowed 16 catches for 256 yards along with one touchdown, 125 yards after the catch, a 69.6 percent catch rate, and a 120.9 passer rating.
Making matters worse, Flowers recorded six missed tackles over these four games. Adding to this total, he missed 15 tackles during the regular season, good for first in the league among all cornerbacks, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Along with needing to make improvements in coverage and as a tackler, the Seahawks cornerback must also find a way to become more disciplined. After committing a pair of critical pass interference penalties against the Eagles during the wild card round, he could have a short leash if these issues continue in 2020.
During the regular season, Flowers finished tied for the second-most penalties committed (nine), according to NFL-Penalties.com. Additionally, seven of his nine infractions were flagged for pass interference, the highest total among all defensive backs in the league.
While staying healthy will likely be Flowers’ main priority, making these adjustments will be equally important during his third season in the Pacific Northwest. If successful, the former Cowboys standout could be poised for a breakout performance and could push Dunbar for playing time.
With that said, without OTAs and minicamp along with a shorter preseason – or perhaps no exhibition games period – it could be difficult for Flowers to maximize his progression. If he's not able to take a giant step forward in his third season working with Carroll and Seattle's staff, his future with the franchise will certainly be in doubt.