Flowers signed a five year deal worth $50 million back in 2011. The move to release the Pro Bowler was made because it saves the club $9 million.
Houston signed a five year deal worth $25 million last year. The move to release Houston was made because the Lions don’t believe he will be the same player after recently having major foot surgery.
The San Diego Chargers drafted cornerback Jason Verrett in the first round of the NFL Draft, but he can’t turnaround the Chargers’ secondary woes by himself. Either Flowers or Houston would be a huge upgrade in the Chargers’ secondary while also taking pressure off the first rounder.
With that being said, the Chargers only have $2.65 million in cap space left after free agency and signing their draft picks. Signing Flowers or Houston would eat up the rest of their cap and it would likely only be a one year deal.
Flowers would likely be out of the Chargers’ price range, especially with him coming off a Pro Bowl season. Houston would be more affordable, but his foot injury raises big question marks.
The addition of either of these cornerbacks would be looked at as a somewhat flashy move, but the Chargers have done very over the past two years bringing in under-the-radar players (ex. Danny Woodhead).
It’s also a big risk to bring one of these corners in and have them not perform up to their expectations, similar to what happened with Derek Cox last season. According to Pro Football Focus (looking at players who played at least 25% of their team’s defensive snaps), Flowers ranked 87th and Houston ranked 96th among all corners last season. That’s not a good ranking for players that would demand the kind of money that Flowers and Houston would want.
The Chargers are better off staying pat with who they have. The secondary will be improved with Verrett stepping in and the upgrades they made in the pass-rush will also take pressure off the corners.