The day has come. Brandon Flowers has been released from the Kansas City Chiefs. Flowers tweeted his goodbyes and the Chiefs shortly thereafter confirmed the news.
Just want to say thanks to the Hunt family for the 6years in Kansas City thanks to the fans and my teammates for some great years.— Brandon Flowers (@BFlowers24) June 13, 2014
The Chiefs have released CB Brandon Flowers.— Kansas City Chiefs (@KCChiefs) June 13, 2014
"We appreciate Brandon's contributions to the team over the last six seasons," Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said. "It's in the best interest of the club and the player to part ways at this time. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career."
The writing seemed to be on the wall for Flowers, who did not attend the Chiefs OTAs.
Why was Flowers released?
Flowers' release seems to come down to a couple of reasons.
The first is the scheme fit in Kansas City. Despite making the Pro Bowl for the first time last season, 2013 was not Flowers best season. He is just 5'9 and it's hard not notice that GM John Dorsey has favored bigger cornerbacks.
The second is his contract, which had a cap number in 2014 of $10.5 million. For the Chiefs, that was one of the four biggest cap hits this season and one they believed they couldn't afford.
Despite those reasons, the Chiefs just got worse today. Flowers was still the top cornerback on the Chiefs roster but his value with his big contract just wasn't worth it to the team.
Why did the Chiefs trade him?
They probably tried. The biggest reason they couldn't is that he has a big contract and not many teams can fit that into their salary cap. Plus, once teams start talking about trading a player, other teams may believe they'll just go ahead and try to sign him for cheaper once he's released.
How much cap space does the release save?
According to this, $7.25 million this year and $7.5 million next year.
We'll await further confirmation on the cap ramifications once the numbers come through.
Pre-Flowers release, the Chiefs had $2,632,465 in cap space— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) June 13, 2014
Who will replace Flowers?
Replacing Flowers will likely be Marcus Cooper, the seventh round pick who was picked up off of waivers shortly before the 2013 season. Cooper, 6'0 and 192 pounds, showed great promise early on last year before falling off. The Chiefs hope his development is only beginning. He has been replacing Flowers in OTAs thus far.
Should other teams want Flowers?
Yes. Most definitely. He is a smart, dependable and tough player. He was the Chiefs top cornerback for the last six seasons. Many Chiefs fans, including myself, wish the Chiefs could've found a way to keep him because they are a better team with him than without him. It just didn't work in Kansas City but it easily could elsewhere. He is 28 years old and fits in many schemes. Some team out there is going to get a good cornerback.
Even after a poor 2013, Brandon Flowers' +35.5 @PFF coverage grade in the last 5 seasons is the 5th-highest of any CB.— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) June 13, 2014
So long to one of the most dependable, durable Chiefs
Flowers has been a mainstay with the Chiefs since the 2008 NFL Draft when Kansas City made him a second round pick out of Virginia Tech. Flowers dropped in the draft because of his supposed lack of speed and the Chiefs were there to reap the rewards.
Flowers started at least 13 games in every year of his NFL career. He played well enough after being drafted to secure a $50 million contract extension in the 2011 season.
He was a good Chief.