A buddy of mine asked me what I thought about the trade rumors and if Brandon Flowers still fit in the current defensive scheme. Considered a better fit for Cover2 schemes, he wondered if I was buying into these rumors and what should we do. I could be working, but tackling this idea sounded much more fun. Haha! So here we go.
My short answer was simple. Move him to free safety! (This is your TLDR moment if you want it, haha)
It's true in my opinion, that Brandon Flowers is not a great CB fit in Bob Sutton's defensive scheme. It's also true he does not fit the bigger and faster CB mold Chiefs GM John Dorsey appears to prefer. This doesn't mean they can't use him though!
Free safety has been a position in need of an upgrade all off season; especially after the 2nd half of the game that shall not be named! (Although I'm pretty sure we've seen a number of nicknames for that... that... that game!) The current roster options consist of Hussain Abdullah and Sanders Comings for the job, along with some other young guys trying to make a case.
Ok not bad so far, right? Comings has a lot of people feeling hopeful and Abdullah is at minimum a safe veteran option to rely on. The unknowns that fill out the DB depth could maybe surprise as well. It's possible.
Why though? In Brandon Flowers I think we have a guy that possesses a number of traits ideal for the position, while still offering scheme diversity. His weaknessess in contrast, are traits not paramount to playing FS at a high level.
Brandon Flowers has excellent ball skills. He recognizes routes very well and plays his best coverage when he can read and break on routes. He's an excellent tackler and good in run support. He's a willing and sneaky blitzer. He's a leader! All traits highly suited to your FS.
On the flip side, Brandown Flowers is not great in press man coverage and struggles when asked to turn and run with big fast WR's! I don't think the assessment of him as a better fit in cover 2 is unfair.
Sounds like a safety skill set to me! Add in his ability to play CB still (he certainly still can) and you can let Sutton go mad genious with his diversified players. Always a good thing.
What about the business side then? Well, we've seen some bigger contracts of late going to the safety position. Earl Thomas, widely considered the best FS in the NFL, just signed a 4 year extension with the Seahwaks for 40 million dollars with roughly 25 million guaranteed. Brandon Flowers contract was six years for roughly 49 million with 22 million guaranteed (as a CB). Pretty similar numbers overall. Flowers could not be described as a safety on the same level as Thomas, but then again his whole contract wouldn't have been spent on him being a safety. They've gotten CB value for their money.
If he could play at a high level as a FS for the Chiefs the rest of the way, wouldn't you feel the contract was worth it?
Of couse the big unknown would be if Flowers would be interested. I'd wonder why not? I think it could extend his career and raise his prominence league wide (safety position gets a lot of recognition). Those things translate into value, monetary value! Players like monetary value (captain obvious! here all week!).
Imagine a starting defensive backfield that read like this:
Sean Smith CB - Brandon Flowers FS - Eric Berry SS - Marcus Cooper CB
That's getting your best players on the field together, always a good thing to achieve! Personally, I dig it! Of course I'd love to hear what you all think! Thanks for reading. Go Chiefs!