Last week the Kansas City Chiefs cut ties with shutdown cornerback Brandon Flowers as a result of salary cap concerns. Since then, it has been reported that at least ten teams have been in contact with Flowers and his agent. Amongst these teams is the Minnesota Vikings, which could really benefit from his services.
Secondary issues have been a problem in Minnesota for quite some time now. While the team already addressed these issues, to some extent, by signing former Carolina Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn during free agency and drafting former Virginia Tech defensive back Antone Exum, this area of the field still remains a concern.
On their current roster, the Vikings have Harrison Smith, who is expected to be fully healthy to begin this season, at free safety and sophomore cornerback Xavier Rhodes to go along with Munnerlyn. Outside of these three players, the Vikings’ secondary is an absolute disaster. Jamarca Sanford is constantly burned at strong safety and Josh Robinson has been a disappointment to this point his career.
The addition of Flowers would go along way towards turning the Vikings’ secondary into a strength as opposed to a major weakness. While other cornerbacks such as Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis and Joe Haden often overshadow him, Flowers certainly deserves to be in the elite cornerback conversation.
Since beginning his NFL career in 2008, Flowers has consistently been excellent in coverage. Throughout his tenure with the Chiefs, Flowers recorded 17 interceptions, three that were returned for touchdowns, along with 92 pass defenses and four forced fumbles. Not shown on the stat sheet is Flowers’ ability to shut down some of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
While Flowers spent most of his time playing in the slot last season, he certainly has the ability to play outside as well. Combining Flowers with Munnerlyn and the improving Rhodes would allow the Vikings to defend high-powered aerial attacks within the NFC North division. Since the Vikings are forced to face combinations such as Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery twice during the NFL season, a lock-down secondary is a requirement for the Vikings if the team is to have success.
Flowers likely will command a large contract due to the amount of teams interested in his services, but the Vikings have more than enough cap room to accommodate him from a financial standpoint.
The Vikings have done an excellent job addressing holes this offseason and already are a strong candidate to vastly improve this season. With new head coach Mike Zimmer at the helm and Flowers in the defensive lineup, the Vikings would immediately become contenders in a pass-heavy NFC North division.