Do the Denver Broncos ‘Need’ Brandon Flowers?
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
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.