KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The first hint arrived on social media within minutes of the official announcement.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers sent a tweet thanking the Chiefs for the past six seasons, and then the team made it official by announcing his release.
“We appreciate Brandon’s contributions to the team over the last six seasons,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “It’s in the best interest of the club and the player to part ways at this time. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career.”
Flowers was scheduled to make $5.25 million this season and $6.25 million in 2015, according to the NFLPA database.
But Friday’s move gave the Chiefs $7.25 million in cap space, according to former NFL agent and contract expert Joel Corry of CBS Sports.
The Chiefs selected Flowers, 28, in the second round (35th overall) out of Virginia Tech in the 2008 NFL Draft.
He appeared in 88 games with 87 starts and is coming off his first-ever Pro Bowl selection.
For his career in Kansas City, he recorded 421 tackles (338 solo), two sacks, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 17 interceptions with three touchdowns.
But for all his production, Flowers didn’t appear to be a good fit last season for defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s press-man scheme.
The first hint came in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans when the Chiefs moved Flowers from his usual left cornerback position to the slot, where he spent a majority of the season.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs under Dorsey have shown a move to bigger cornerbacks, evidenced by the current roster. Before Flowers’ release, the Chiefs had 11 cornerbacks with three under 6-0 (Flowers, Chris Owens at 5-9 and Justin Rogers at 5-11).
With Flowers no longer on the team, there are now two:
|DeMarcus Van Dyke||6-1|
|David Van Dyke||6-0|
Flowers had previously missed all 10 days of voluntary organized team activities (OTAs), affording the Chiefs to get a look at other players.
The Chiefs had Marcus Cooper at left cornerback with Sean Smith on the right side through the first six OTAs. Chris Owens defended the slot before suffering a hamstring injury on Day Seven of OTAs.
With Sean Smith spending time with the second-team defense after being cited for an alledged DUI, Cooper moved to the right side with Ron Parker staring on the left. Free safety Malcolm Bronson played the slot in place of the injured Owens.