He can play end and set the edge against the run. He can move inside, penetrate and wreak havoc with the quarterback on passing downs. He can do whatever you need on the defensive line. He’s a bona fide star in the league.

Add in model citizen and homegrown product and that’s Trey Flowers in a nutshell.

Take away model citizen, homegrown product, add on seven years and a mean streak, and you get Michael Bennett.

After free agency, you also get a cheaper version of Flowers at defensive end.

We’ll see how it all plays out, but Coach Bill Belichick had to do something to protect against the possibility of losing Flowers next week when free agency officially opens. And given he opted not to place the franchise tag – worth $17.1 million for one year – on his star, it’s a very real possibility.

Belichick knows something about Bennett. In the 2015 Super Bowl, the then-Seahawks defensive end registered a team-high four quarterback hits.

Basically, Bennett is Belichick’s insurance policy. Given he reportedly surrendered a fifth-rounder in 2020 for the defensive lineman – the deal won’t become official until the new league year starts Wednesday – it’s a good move.

If the Patriots can somehow re-sign Flowers, and have him and Bennett in the fold together, it will be a master stroke by Belichick.

For now, Bennett joins a cast that includes Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, Keionta Davis, Derek Rivers and Ufomba Kamalu.

DOLPHINS: Tight end Dwayne Allen agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with Miami after helping New England win the Super Bowl.

Allen made nine starts for the Patriots during the regular season, his seventh in the NFL, and was used primarily as a blocker. He made only three receptions but has 139 career catches and 20 touchdowns.

Rookie Mike Gesicki was Miami’s leading receiver among tight ends last year with 22 catches. Tight ends A.J. Derby and MarQueis Gray will become free agents this offseason.

CHARGERS: Linebacker Denzel Perryman signed a two-year deal to remain with Los Angeles.

Perryman, a second-round selection by the Chargers in 2015, has started 35 of the 42 games he’s played.

COWBOYS: Sean Lee and Dallas determined the linebacker will return for a 10th season, and the sides are working on how that looks contractually. Lee is entering the final year of his contract and scheduled to make $7 million, a figure that will be reduced once discussions are done.

CHIEFS: Kansas City bolstered its young, relatively unproven backfield Saturday by signing veteran running back Carlos Hyde to a $2.8 million contract for the 2019 season. The deal includes $1.6 million guaranteed for the 28-year-old Hyde, who was released Friday by Jacksonville.

NFL TEAMS proposed major changes to replay and overtime after a season of consistent criticism of officiating and which plays can be challenged or automatically reviewed.

Among proposals that teams have made to the league’s competition committee are an increase in the number of plays subject to video replay review and a change to the overtime format.

The idea of more or even unlimited coaches’ challenges is not new but could have stronger support now. Also, the league is reluctant to expand replays for officiating because it would slow games even further.

Fans and many media members have vociferously expressed displeasure with the current system regarding coaches’ challenges since a blown call late in the NFC championship game – a blatant pass interference penalty and a helmet-first hit by Nickell Robey-Coleman of the Rams deep in Los Angeles territory. The non-calls helped Los Angeles force overtime and eventually win the game to reach the Super Bowl.

But New York Giants owner John Mara said last month at the NFL combine that the powerful competition committee might not feel the same way.

“I just don’t sense a lot of support to use replay to call penalties. I don’t sense a lot of support for the expansion of it, either,” Mara said.

CEDRICK HARTMAN, a former San Francisco defensive end, died at age 70. Hartman, a Pro Bowl player in 1972 and 1976, played 10 seasons with the 49ers.

Comments are not available on this story.