Brandon Flowers is 28 years old and made his first Pro Bowl in 2013. That honor was mostly a lifetime achievement award, but there's no doubt he's been among the NFL's top 20 cornerbacks over the last five years. He doesn't fit the normal profile of a player released in June.
Flowers is coming off a mediocre season, but this release was more about money and the team's new coaching staff. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted that Flowers did not love playing on the inside last year and could have skipped minicamp next week. He was on the trade block earlier this offseason, and this move will save the Chiefs $7.5 million against the salary cap. (Alex Smith says thanks.) Kansas City had to create cap room, and this staff prefers bigger cornerbacks. But Flowers was still probably the Chiefs' best player at the position.
Flowers will not lack for suitors. If he had been a free agent back in March, he would have cracked our top 25 free agents. Here are some potential landing spots:
1. Atlanta Falcons: Rapoport reports that the Falcons have been monitoring Flowers' availability, and they could be ready to pounce. Second-year pros Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford are a very promising duo, but the group lacks depth. A Flowers addition would give the Falcons one of the best trios in the league. New Falcons front office member Scott Pioli signed Flowers to his "$48.75 million extension" in Kansas City. (Flowers only got half that money) This marriage makes a lot of sense, and the Falcons have the cap room to get it done.
2. Houston Texans: There's another direct connection from Kansas City here. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel coached Flowers, who is perfect for his system. Flowers could combine with Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson to form a strong cornerback group.
3. Carolina Panthers: General manager Dave Gettleman has taken his salary cap medicine for much of the offseason, but their huge need at cornerback is hard to ignore.
7. Oakland Raiders: They sure like to spend money. If anything, Flowers is too young to fit their free-agent profile.