If you browse my user history, you'll see that I've been engaging in a little conspiracy theory talk about Brandon Flowers recently. I've had uneasy feelings about his spot on this roster since last season, given they way he was used relative to undrafted rookie Marcus Cooper. Throw in some John Dorsey personnel patterns and a tight budget, and Flowers suddenly looks expendable. I really like Brandon Flowers, and wouldn't trade him for the world(well, maybe a world that was really good at man coverage). Unfortunately, I think we've seen Brandon's last campaign as a Chief, and here is why.
You know that situation, where your friends are gushing about how beautiful a woman is, and although you can see what they mean, she just isn't your type? Well I think that's where John Dorsey is with Brandon Flowers right about now. I won't speak to how hot Dorsey thinks Flowers is, but I can be pretty sure he acknowledges him as a very good corner. But if we look at the CBs Dorsey has brought to Kansas City, they're nothing like Flowers. At 69 inches tall, Flowers is much smaller than the secondary additions Dorsey has made in his time here. Dorsey signed the 6'3, 220lb colossus of a CB Sean Smith last year in free agency. Our camp cut raids included a couple of larger corners in Ron Parker, 6'0, and Marcus Cooper, 6'2. They were brought in to fill the void left by 5'8 Javier Arenas, who was dealt to AZ. Marcus Cooper ended up getting significant playing time as a spot starter and first-off-the-bench depth. As of this writing, every CB on the roster is 6'0 or taller, with the exception of Flowers, and the recently signed Chris Owens. As good as he is, Flowers just isn't Dorsey's type.
For John Dorsey, size does matter
So what about Owens then--he's built just like Flowers at 5'9 180lbs. Owens is a slot specialist and special teams player, which I think spells more trouble for Flower's future in KC. When the Chiefs go to coin packages, Flowers would typically slide over to the slot, while Cooper came in to cover a flanker. This says a lot to me about how Dorsey views the CB position. in his eyes shorter CBs have their place, but it's in the slot, covering the third receiver. Hence the peculiar use of Flowers, and the addition of a slot specialist of similar build. For someone who looks at a guy like flowers as a slot-type corner, you'd be better off bringing in someone else, like Owens, to perform that task. Financially speaking, Flowers just isn't worth it.
Flowers lined up in the slot vs SD.
That will be Flowers' cap hit this coming season should he remain on the team. That's a lot of money, period. Then factor in low apparent value from the man signing contracts, and your'e over-paying big time. They have a man in Cooper who passes the eye test, and has teased talent. Now Owens is here to man the slot, and even if it turns out not to be him they settle on, slot CBs aren't exactly difficult to find. Dorsey has had to learn not to stand up too fast this offseason, for fear of slamming his head into the salary cap, Tim Allen style. 10.5 million would free up a lot of space to do things like extend Alex Smith, and bring in some of those inevitable surprise cuts later in the year. Next season Flowers' cap number is even worse, at 11.5 million.
At 28, this is the last, best opportunity to get decent compensation for Flowers if you can move him. The important thing is off-loading the contract, but with a couple of years left of his deal, and being just young enough for those to be probowl caliber years, Flowers could net the Chiefs a solid draft pick. We're all homers by trade, so we'll scream first or bust, but a third is probably within reason. In a draft where we're missing a 2nd, another third would be nice to have.
This is all tea leaf reading on my part. If any of you have better leaves to read than I do, especially ones that say "you're totally off base," or "Flowers will obviously be a Chief next year," please share them in the comments. I really hope I'm wrong about this.