2015 NFL Free Agency Preview: Top 5 Cornerbacks
Nov 23, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers (26) runs an interception back as St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey (12) defends during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
2. Brandon Flowers
Pros: Flowers was a Pro Bowler as a cornerback for the Chiefs in 2013, and has been a consistently solid cornerback throughout his career. He has ideal speed and athleticism and is a throwback cover corner who can follow a receiver all over the field. He has polished coverage technique, great anticipation and can break and close on a play as well as anyone in the league. He’s spent his entire career in the AFC West, and knows two of the Raiders’ divisional rivals intimately.
Cons: Flowers just turned 29, meaning he’s nearing the end of his prime, if not already past it. He’s also undersized for a Del Rio/Norton cornerback, at only 5’10” and about 190 pounds. He isn’t a strong press corner and he’ll struggle against larger receivers, and he’s not as fast as he once was.
Scheme Fit: He’s not a great scheme fit if Norton and Del Rio plan on running a lot of press or bail zone coverage but Del Rio has experience in the past using smaller corners in softer man coverage looks with success. It depends on how the coaches see their depth chart coming together whether he fits in or not.
Market Value: Flowers is still a very good cornerback with high name recognition and a recent Pro Bowl appearance to go with 20 career INT’s. He will have a strong market value though with his age teams may avoid signing him to a very long-term deal. Look for him to get a three year deal in the neighborhood of $18M-$21M.
Would he sign with the Raiders: doubtful. For what he’s likely to earn on the open market he’s not a great fit for what the Raiders coaching staff will probably want to do with their cornerbacks. He’s not the type of corner the team needs in this market, and even if Reggie McKenzie does show interest he can probably be outbid.
Next: 2015 FA Preview: CB #3, Antonio Cromartie