The Minnesota Vikings are still looking to shore up their defensive secondary, and may be in the midst of taking another step to do just that.
The Kansas City Chiefs released veteran cornerback Brandon Flowers on Friday, and according to Warpaint Illustrated, the Vikings (along with the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions) inquired about him after he was cut.
The 5'10", 190-pound Flowers was taken by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. Over the course of his career with the Chiefs, he's been pretty good, for the most part. . .up until last season. Surprisingly, he went to the Pro Bowl last season for the first time. . .and I say "surprisingly" because, based on his Pro Football Focus grades throughout his career, he a) had no business being there last year and b) should have made it at least a couple of times in previous years.
Here are his Pro Football Focus grades throughout his career:
2008 (rookie): -5.9 (#96 of 114 cornerbacks rated)
2009: +18.5 (#5 of 107)
2010: +20.2 (#2 of 100)
2011: +12.0 (#5 of 109)
2012: +13.7 (#7 of 113)
2013: -5.9 (#87 of 110)
Sadly, as bad as his 2013 performance was, he still rated higher than Marcus Sherels (-6.4, #88), Chris Cook (-8.0, #95), and Josh Robinson (-8.8, #99). If we haven't mentioned it in the past, the Vikings' secondary was pretty putrid in 2013.
So, after a rough rookie campaign, Flowers became one of the NFL's better cornerbacks before falling off of a cliff last season. I haven't broken down his performance on the outside versus his performance in the slot or anything like that. . .according to the folks over at The Viking Age, Flowers was largely a slot corner towards the end of last season. . .but the prevailing wisdom seems to be that the drop-off in his performance has a lot to do with the Chiefs going to a more aggressive, man-press type of scheme.
You know, the sort of scheme the Vikings are rumored to be going to under new head coach Mike Zimmer and new defensive coordinator George Edwards.
The Vikings did a lot to correct their problems at the slot cornerback position by signing Captain Munnerlyn to a contract this past off-season. However, if the team thinks that Flowers can contribute in some meaningful way, there's no reason for them to not at least sniff around a bit, if not sign him to a deal and let him compete in Training Camp.