January 26, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Team Rice cornerback Brandon Flowers of the Kansas City Chiefs (24) and safety Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers (35) celebrate at the end of the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Team Rice defeated Team Sanders 22-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Denver Broncos 'Need' Brandon Flowers?

It’s not often that after June 1st, Pro Bowl players entering the prime of their careers are released.

It also just so happens that the Broncos’ division rival Kansas City Chiefs were the team that released said player.

When Kansas City decided to part ways with Brandon Flowers, they knew they were going to have to free up money for guys like Justin Houston, but they also let go of a Pro Bowl caliber player just a month out of training camp.

What has been the prevailing opinion among Broncos fans is that the team doesn’t ‘need’ Flowers with the current state of the roster at cornerback, and on the surface, it appears to be the correct opinion.

However, and I know I have banged the table for a lot of high profile free agents in the past, but the notion that the Broncos don’t ‘need’ Brandon Flowers is just silly, and I’ll tell you why.

Last season, the Broncos appeared to be set at the cornerback position. They had Champ Bailey, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Chris Harris, rookie third round pick Kayvon Webster, and Tony Carter returning to the fold. They also signed up veteran corner Quintin Jammer late in the offseason to fortify their depth.

The cornerback position in particular appeared to be set for the Broncos, but so did safety. With returning starters Rahim Moore and Mike Adams as well as backups like Quinton Carter, David Bruton, Duke Ihenacho — an emerging player — and second year player Omar Bolden able to provide depth at both positions, it looked like things were good to go.

Not so fast.

Bailey went down early with an injury that kept him out most of the season and ineffective when he played. Harris suffered a torn ACL and missed the Super Bowl. Webster broke his thumb. Tony Carter was solid to start things off, but struggled as the season progressed and also suffered some injuries.

Quinton Carter missed another whole season with a knee injury. Rahim Moore suffered from compartment’s syndrome and missed the last month or so of the season as well as the entire playoffs.

What’s my point, other than to say the Broncos were really unlucky when it came to injuries last season?

You have to be ready.

The Broncos ended up actually having to use Quintin Jammer a significant amount. Not a good plan. They also ended up signing guys like Michael Huff and Marquice Cole, and thrust Omar Bolden and David Bruton into regular defensive reps.

By the end of the season, the secondary was in a shambles, and there was nothing they could do about it but hope and pray for the best.

So they don’t need Brandon Flowers now?

Perhaps financially it’s irresponsible, which is a legitimate argument. The Broncos have a good enough core in the defensive backfield that they don’t need to break the bank for another corner if he’s not going to play a significant role.

However, if Flowers is willing to sign for a similar one-year deal like the one Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signed last year ($4 million) the Broncos could absolutely make that happen, and it would be wise to do so and clear whatever necessary space elsewhere on the roster.

You can never have enough defensive backs, and when one this talented becomes available, you have to look at that option as well.

I get the idea that many fans don’t want to see the Broncos be irresponsible with their finances, but don’t tell me they are set at the cornerback position. Not after what I saw a year ago.

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  • Tony Ferraro

    True secondary can always use more depth, but I think a major problem will be at the running back depth. they had a chance to get CJ Chris Johson I don’t think Montee Ball can carry this team. they have a bunch of fumblers at that position. which in turn puts more pressure on Peyton to throw more. I think bad move in Elways part. Watch all the fumbles lol.

    • anon76returns

      Ball has fumbled something like 3 times in 4 years. He is not a fumbler- he had a rough time catching on to NFL game speed, but once he did he ran as well and was as ball-secure as anyone in the league. In his last 8 games he rushed for something like 5.9 ypc with zero fumbles on the ground (1 fumble in the Patriot game on a reception but he was blind-sided while turning and securing the catch- I blame Peyton on that one). No question in my mind Ball will be an outstanding lead back.
      Behind Ball is CJ Anderson, who hasn’t fumbled in the pros, but has hardly had any action so no telling. Certainly calling him a fumbler at this point would be unwarranted.
      Hillman should definitely be labeled a fumbler at this point. I’m willing to give him one last shot, but he needs a whole season without a single fumble to get back into the Broncos good graces- literally a single fumble will be the end for him in Denver. I hope he pulls it out, because he has a lot to offer in terms of speed on the edges and receiving out of the backfield.
      Behind those three is a 3-way battle among UDFAs, none of whom have a reputation as fumblers. From where I sit, the RB position looks good (and young!). CJ would have been a terrible addition, not only for the cap problems he would have created, but also because of his style of play, which leads to a ton of plays with negative yardage. Give me the North-South running style of Ball any day.

    • Chad Jensen

      Ball hasn’t fumbled since the game at Foxboro. Averaged 6.4 YPC the last 6 weeks of the season. I’m not worried about him at all. In fact, I’m excited to see what he can do going against 5-6 man boxes.

  • Josh Rose

    The Broncos only have 2 or 3 more seasons with Manning so they should spend money while he is there bc once he is gone it will some bad years for the Broncos

    • anon76returns

      Spending money simply because Peyton is nearing retirement is the best way to insure that the post-Manning years are bad ones. The Broncos have built well, and if they continue to manage their finances in a savvy manner they will be set to win for “now on”, as Elway likes to say. They are stocked in the secondary, and barring a repeat, highly unlikely injury hurricane, they won’t need Flowers’ skills (which, incidentally, don’t mesh well with the physical corner play that the Broncos are trying to move towards).

  • Renaissance Man

    Bringing in Flowers would be a terrible idea.

  • jackson3793

    I’m all for bringing Flowers in, if the price is right. He’s a definite upgrade over Tony Carter, would likely start ahead of Webster, and would provide Denver with a rather imposing 4-cornerback set along with Talib, Harris, and Webster/Roby for some of the passing down situations. That would be cool.

    I just don’t see it happening. First, because of the price tag. Flowers was going to make about $6 million in 2014, and given the market situation, he could very well be happy to have been cut as he could see a significant raise as a result. There are teams that still have a lot of money to spend who need Pro-Bowl caliber players–Oakland, the Jets, Cincy, Indy, Tennessee, etc.–who would likely win a bidding war against Denver. Second, Flowers was not at all effective against the Broncos in 2013, so that’s a guy we actually want to have playing for potential rivals. And third, he’s not exactly a scheme fit. He’s undersized, and while physical, he’d just be a more-expensive and less effective version of Chris Harris.

    I’d rather see Denver’s money go towards locking down current Denver stars like the Thomases, Harris, Franklin, and Miller.

  • armando cuesta

    Flowers would certainly provide not just quality depth and versatility at the CB position, but experience as well. The one glaring detriment to pursuing the ex-KC cornerback is his asking price. If it is exorbitant, then so be it….we pass. But those ‘tires’ should definitely be kicked just to make sure.

    YES, the Broncos have a solid, capable CB corps. But to suggest that we are ‘stacked’ at CB as it relates to depth is an exercise in hyperbole. Our CB1, Talib, while elite in ability, is historically prone to injury. Our CB2, Chris Harris, is coming off an ACL injury and is unlikely to be back to full speed though the very early part of the season. And our No. 3 CB is either a rookie, Roby (and talented and promising as Roby is…he’s still a rookie), or a 2nd-year player, Webster, who struggled through his rookie campaign with uneven play, and an injury to his right thumb.
    The addition of Flowers, IF the price is right…..would be a definite upgrade to our secondary.

    • armando cuesta

      BTW, I don’t suggest we bring in Flowers AS depth, but rather as a starter opposite Talib. Harris Jr. can then be placed at the slot position, where he plays at a Pro-Bowl caliber level. And Roby would be brought in on ‘Dime’ and ‘Sub’ packages and afford him a more gradual way of acclimating to NFL speed…thereby minimizing some of the seemingly inevitable rookie growing pains.