The Kansas City Chiefs have released Brandon Flowers, cutting loose the defensive back to save salary cap space after he made it clear he was unhappy with the team.
Flowers, who started for the Chiefs for the past six years, had what many believed was his worst season in 2013, struggling with a shift to nickleback. Flowers still made the Pro Bowl this season, largely on reputation, but made it clear he was unhappy with the team and failed to show up to offseason practices.
Many believe the Kansas City Chiefs decision to cut Flowers was simply about money. The team was able to save $7.5 million against the cap both in 2014 and 2015, giving them the room to try to re-sign quarterback Alex Smith and linebacker Justin Houston.
The Chiefs enjoyed a turnaround season in 2013, finishing 11-5 and making the playoffs for the first time since 2010. But the team will face some difficult decisions ahead when it comes to personnel.
Though it did create some much-needed cap space, the move to cut Brandon Flowers might be a bit shortsighted, ESPN writer Adam Teicher noted:
"But Flowers wasn't a luxury for the Chiefs given their current state at cornerback. They will pay a price for acquiring that cap room, and the only question is how hefty the bill will be.
"At cornerback the Chiefs are left with only veteran Sean Smith as a proven commodity, and though Smith is an adequate starter, he's not a No. 1. Their other starter in the offseason has been Marcus Cooper, a seventh-round draft pick last year by the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs grabbed him off waivers at the start of last season and he played well for a time as their third cornerback."
The roster move means that the Chiefs will have to rely heavily on journeyman Ron Parker and rookie Phillip Gaines, a third-round pick who remains unproven.
Brandon Flowers garnered almost immediate interest after being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. NFL.com reports that he could end up with the Atlanta Falcons or Houston Texans, although noted as many as five other teams who could be competing for his services.