The Oakland Raiders are a much improved team, but they still have a long way to go before being where they want to be. Part of that is letting young guys develop. Part of it is letting new guys learn the scheme. And part of it is simply needing more good players throughout the roster.
Brandon Flowers is a good player. A very good player.
He made his first Pro Bowl in 2013 even though many saw it as his worst season in the NFL. A six year veteran, Flowers was released by the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday. And of course, just as when almost any other player gets cuts, the Raiders are immediately one of the names mentioned as either being interested, or as someone who should be interested.
Flowers is an undersized corner at 5’9, which is a large part of the reason the Chiefs cut him. Preferring bigger corners, the Chiefs felt as though Flowers was not a great match for the team and they did not want to pay him over five million dollars this season. The Raiders, on the other hand, clearly are not as concerned about short corners since they spent a firs round pick on DJ Hayden, who is only two inches taller than Flowers.
But even so, they must be wary of his size. Much like Hayden, Flowers had difficulties with bigger more physical receivers last season. While a guy can play bigger than he is, at the end of the day a bigger stronger wide receiver can take advantage of the size difference. With plenty of big physical pass catchers in the AFC West, having two undersized corners is less than ideal.
But then again, Flowers is a good player.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie needs to kick the tires on Flowers. Give his agent a call and feel him out to see what it would take to get Flowers into silver and black. But he should not pursue him too hard. In all likeliness, Flowers will want a longer deal with fairly big numbers. Coming off of a Pro Bowl year is a good bargaining chip for a young and talented player.
But he is also getting cut right before training camp after having what many perceived as his worst year in the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons have been rumored to have interest in Flowers, but the fact of the matter is most NFL teams have accounted for most major positions, not expecting any high caliber players to be released.
If Flowers is not signed fairly quickly, he could sit out for a while, with his price tag dropping with every day that passes. If things get to the point where Flowers is willing to take a one to two year prove it style deal (aka the Reggie McKenzie special), the Raiders need to pounce and make sure he proves himself while wearing silver and black.
As always, it comes down to paying the right price, and for Flowers that means getting a deal. The Raiders should not pay market value for a young Pro Bowl corner, Flowers is not worth that kind of money to this team. But if he is there to be had on a short term prove it deal, he is perfect for the Raiders. Even if they need to overpay him slightly, they have the money to do so. The more important aspect is not committing long term for big money. As long as the Raiders can get out of the deal in a year or two, it would be a great move for Reggie McKenzie.