Thursday, February 20, 2014
Revisiting the Flowers-Carr debate
By Adam Teicher
Colleague Todd Archer suggests in a recent post that the Dallas Cowboys may be having some regret over the massive contract they gave two years ago to former Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr.
You think the Chiefs might be having some regret over choosing Brandon Flowers instead of Carr at that juncture? The Chiefs, after drafting both players in 2008, came to the point where they had to choose between the two, and early in the 2011 season they signed Flowers to a five-year contract extension worth $48.75 million.
They couldn't have afforded both players. Carr wasn't going to take one penny less from the Chiefs than Flowers received and in fact he got more from the Cowboys two years ago. To this day they're both among the top 10 in highest paid cornerbacks as far as average salary.
It's interesting to note the Chiefs had Scott Pioli as their general manager and Romeo Crennel as their defensive coordinator when they made their choice. Pioli was replaced last year by John Dorsey, who through his words and his actions made it clear he prefers big cornerbacks. The Chiefs last year acquired two big cornerbacks, 6-foot-3 Sean Smith and 6-2 Marcus Cooper.
Carr, at 6-foot and 206 pounds, is another big cornerback. Flowers, at 5-9 and 187 pounds, is not.
Kansas City's defensive coordinator is now Bob Sutton, who prefers cornerbacks with press man-to-man and one-on-one coverage skills. That, too, is Carr's game. Flowers can play it as well but may be better suited to the system of Crennel, one that provided more consistent safety help.
Flowers didn't play as well last season, his first with Sutton. Flowers had some horrible games and was shifted to slot coverage, the domain of the little cornerback, later in the season.
It's a mistake for the Chiefs to give up on Flowers, big contract and all. He's only 28, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him bounce back with a solid year in 2014. But the drop in his play last season is troubling and begs the question whether they would have been better off with Carr instead.