The New England Patriots acquired linebacker Marquis Flowers from Cincinnati on Tuesday for a seventh-round draft pick next year, getting a player the Bengals planned to release.

Flowers, a 2014 sixth-round pick, spent the last three seasons as a reserve outside linebacker for the Bengals. He missed all of the 2015 season with a shoulder injury, but played all 16 games in 2014 and 2016.

The trade may have an impact on Westbrook native Trevor Bates’ quest to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster as a linebacker. Bates, the former University of Maine star, is competing for one of what’s likely to be six spots for linebackers. The group includes Dont’a Hightower, David Harris, Jonathan Freeny, Shea McClellin, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, Harvey Langi, Brooks Ellis and now Flowers. The Patriots must cut their roster to 53 by 4 p.m. Saturday.

Bates, who turned 24 on Monday, has eight tackles in the first three preseason games, playing inside linebacker and on the edge. He’s also been in on most special teams, with one tackle.

Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said Flowers wasn’t going to make the team in the final roster moves, which would have left Flowers free to be claimed off waivers.

“The Patriots felt he may not get to them through the waiver chances so they traded for him,” Lewis said.

The Patriots play the New York Giants at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Gillette Stadium in their final preseason game.

TITANS: Wide receivers Eric Decker and rookie Corey Davis returned to practice, and Coach Mike Mularkey isn’t ready to rule either out of the preseason finale Thursday night at Kansas City.

RAIDERS: Oakland finally got its first-round draft pick on the practice field when cornerback Gareon Conley passed his physical and was taken off the physically unable to perform list.

BROWNS: Cornerback Joe Haden, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who has been limited by injuries the past two years, is reportedly being shopped and Coach Hue Jackson did nothing to clarify Haden’s future.

PANTHERS: Coach Ron Rivera isn’t concerned about quarterback Cam Newton’s limited reps in the preseason following offseason shoulder surgery.

SEAHAWKS: The team believes defensive end Frank Clark will be ready to go for the start of the regular season even with a wrist injury suffered in the third preseason game.

COLTS: Two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis has what Coach Chuck Pagano called a “pretty significant” groin injury that could keep him out of the regular-season opener and perhaps longer.

SAINTS: Coach Sean Payton said the club placed tight end John Phillips on injured reserve and released defensive end Jason Jones.

WASHINGTON: Nose tackle Phil Taylor is out for the season after tearing his left quadriceps tendon, leaving the team with a big void to fill on the defensive line.

GIANTS: New York waived third-year defensive end Owa Odighizuwa a day after the NFL suspended him for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

CHIEFS: Linebacker Reggie Ragland reported to the team but wasn’t on the practice field one day after Buffalo shipped him to Kansas City for a fourth-round draft pick.

BENGALS: Coach Marvin Lewis defended the hit by linebacker Vontaze Burfict that caused the NFL to suspend him for five games and insisted Burfict has changed his ways on the field to conform to the league’s emphasis on player safety.

DOLPHINS: Coach Adam Gash quashed speculation that receiver Jarvis Landry, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, might soon be traded. Gase said there’s “no chance” that will happen, and shared that message privately with Landry.

STEELERS-49ERS: Pittsburgh added depth at tight end, acquiring Vance McDonald and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick from San Francisco. The Steelers sent a fourth-round pick to the 49ers.

BILLS: Safety Bacarri Rambo’s second stint with the team – he played for Buffalo in 2014 and 2015 – lasted barely a month when he was one of the six players released, with cornerback Jumal Rolle, receiver Rashad Ross, running back Cedric O’Neal, guard Karim Barton and defensive end Jake Metz. The moves were made two days before the Bills close their preseason with a home game against Detroit.

RAVENS: Coach John Harbaugh said quarterback Joe Flacco has begun throwing again as he gets closer to returning to practice ahead of the Sept. 10 regular-season opener against Cincinnati.

RAMS: Eric Dickerson signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the team, reuniting the famous running back with his first NFL franchise.

COWBOYS: Running back Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal of his six-game suspension over a domestic violence incident is headed for a second day with no timeline for completion of the hearing.

LIONS: Quarterback Matthew Stafford became the highest-paid player in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $135 million contract extension.

BRONCOS: Coach Vance Joseph said he hadn’t heard anything about strong safety T.J. Ward being on the trading block following a report from the NFL Network that the team has been in talks about dealing the Pro Bowler who is entering the final year of his contract.