Kansas City Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers did not show up to the start of OTAs on Tuesday. These are non-mandatory offseason practices so he is not breaking any rule by not showing up.
His absence is notable because of offseason rumors that the Chiefs could entertain trading or releasing him. There have been rumors about that this offseason but they've been just that ... rumors. The Chiefs haven't shown their hand either way. Flowers contract has three more years on it so doing nothing would mean he remains on the team.
Flowers was replaced by Marcus Cooper at OTAs on Tuesday.
Let's run down the theories surrounding Flowers' absence from Chiefs OTAs.
Why would Brandon Flowers skip OTAs?
Could be for any reason. These are voluntary practices despite teams routinely getting high attendance.
It could be a family or personal reason. He could show up tomorrow and all is well.
It could be related to his contract, which is set to pay him $30 million over the next three seasons.
Or the Chiefs could've told him to stay home while they work on a trade.
Everyone always tells you the NFL is a business. I would imagine his absence falls under that category but I can't say that for sure, nor can anyone else that I know of.
Why would the Chiefs get rid of Brandon Flowers?
The first would be the finances. Flowers is working on a $50 million contract and those contracts are always at risk when a team is working within a salary cap. The more money you make, the more scrutiny that's on you. Flowers 2014 cap number is set to be $11.5 million, one of the highest on the team.
The second would be fit. Chiefs GM John Dorsey has clearly shown a preference for bigger cornerbacks. Flowers is one of the smallest on the team at 5'9.
The third would be his performance. Flowers, in the first year under the new regime, didn't have his best year despite a Pro Bowl nod.
The cost of cutting Brandon Flowers
OK. So based on my (crude) calculations, if the #Chiefs make Flowers a post-June 1 cut they can save $7.5 mil this year AND next year.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) May 27, 2014
That money would be handy for extensions to Alex Smith and Justin Houston this year. I see the financial ramifications but it's just hard for me to take Flowers out of the secondary, which was a problem late last year, and expect the Chiefs to be much better there.
The cost of trading Brandon Flowers
If they TRADE Flowers, they will only save $3.5 million this year.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) May 27, 2014
They would also get his $11+ million contract off the books for 2015. The problem is that it's hard to trade players with big contracts. Look around the league ... the big contracts usually end up in a release, not a trade.
Why would the Chiefs keep Brandon Flowers?
Sure, he's due a lot of money but, last season's problems aside, he's the most proven cornerback on the roster. And that's an area the Chiefs can't afford to get worse in.