The rumor mill has been churning heavily since the news of Brandon Flowers’ absence at the Chiefs “voluntary” OTA’s. Speculation around the league and among fans indicates that the primary reason for Flowers’ no-show is due to the fact that he realizes his time in Kansas City may be over, especially after reports surfaced that the Chiefs were shopping the pro-bowl CB prior to the draft.
Although I’m sure Andy Reid is unhappy with Flowers’ absence, it’s understandable from the six-year veteran’s point of view. Why show up to non-mandatory offseason practices and risk injury, if you’re not entirely sure that the team has you in their future plans? In a perfect world, Flowers would participate in OTA’s, but after being a good soldier through the tough times as a Chief over the past six seasons, it’s tough blame him for being unhappy.
Parting with Flowers would have a major effect on the Chiefs current defense, but also would give Kansas City some much-needed cap flexibility and comes with it’s fair share of benefits. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the move.
- Brandon Flowers isn’t the only player absent at the Chiefs OTA’s. Justin Houston, who is due for an incredibly luxurious pay day at the end of next season, has been a no-show as well. If the Chiefs cut Flowers and rid themselves of his contract, they can save up to $7.5 million immediately, and $7.5 million next season. With players to the likes of Houston, Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tamba Hali, Mike Devito, Donald Stephenson and Dontari Poe all coming off the books over the next two seasons, the cap relief the Chiefs would receive by cutting Flowers would give John Dorsey major flexibility in extending and re-signing the core of his team.
- If Flowers is no longer a Chief come week one, Marcus Cooper likely would be awarded the starting job beside Sean Smith. The Chiefs immediately would find out what they have in Cooper as a long-term CB, and are better off knowing whether or not he’s a long-term starter now, rather than later. Cooper would grow into more of a complete, battle tested player by becoming a starter this season and in hand, the Chiefs would be better off for the long haul.
- The first major issue that I have with releasing Flowers, is that the Chiefs defense would suffer next season because of it. Kansas City’s current roster is built to win now, and by heading into next season without Flowers’ presence in the secondary, seriously contending for a Super Bowl in the pass-first AFC would be troubling for the Chiefs. Kansas City can’t afford to lose a key defensive player like Flowers in a year in which they are built to compete for a Super Bowl.
- The primary problem in every Chiefs loss last season, was the secondary’s inability to slow down the Peyton Manning’s and Phillip Rivers’ of the NFL. By losing Flowers, the secondary in its entirety is worse. Flowers’ importance to the Chiefs defense was perfectly displayed during the second half of the Chiefs playoff loss. Once Flowers left the game due to injury, not a sole was capable of covering T.Y. Hilton and slowing down Andrew Luck. Relying on practically the same group of defenders that lost Kansas City’s 28 point lead in the playoffs isn’t the most ideal situation.
- The common belief among Chiefs fans is that Flowers’ production dropped off drastically last season. But the time in which Flowers was injured vs. Indianapolis in the postseason displays his importance to the defense, regardless of what numbers show up on his stat sheet.
Whether or not the Chiefs decide to part ways with Flowers remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is that John Dorsey has a major decision to make. The Chiefs are armed with the talent to contend for a Super Bowl right now, but if John Dorsey’s more focused on the bigger picture, parting ways with Flowers will likely be move made.
Note: Contract numbers/cap savings via Joel Corry (@corryjoel on Twitter).