Ravens could be dark horse for Flowers

June, 15, 2014
Jun 15
9:30
AM ET
When the Kansas City Chiefs released Brandon Flowers on Friday, the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans were deemed the favorites to sign the Pro Bowl cornerback.

Just don't count out the Baltimore Ravens.

The third cornerback spot is most vulnerable spot on the Ravens, even more than right tackle and safety. The Ravens didn't sign or draft a cornerback after losing Corey Graham in free agency.

Right now, Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson are battling for that spot. No one has seen enough of either young corner to know whether they're ready to handle such an important role on the defense. Yet everyone would agree that the secondary would look much better if the Ravens' top three cornerbacks were Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Flowers.

This is the type of rare opportunity in June that general manager Ozzie Newsome typically pounces on. Flowers is 28 years old and would've ranked among the top 20 free agents if he was on the market in March.

It's legitimate to say Flowers is coming off his worst season. It's also valid to point out that Flowers wasn't a good fit for the Chiefs' system. He didn't enjoy playing the slot last season and wasn't suited to be a press corner at 5 feet 9. Flowers can still play, which is why ESPN's Adam Teicher called him the best cornerback on the team after the Chiefs cut him.

The third cornerback spot is essentially the 12th man on defense. Graham played 63 percent of the snaps on defense last season for the Ravens. Plus, the Ravens have to think about what happens if Smith or Webb get hurt. There would be a lot less concern if they put in a veteran like Flowers in the starting lineup instead of Brown or Jackson, who combined to play 3 percent of the defensive snaps in 2013.

Since the draft, the odds were good that the Ravens were going to pick up a veteran cornerback at some point this year. It looked like it would come after the final major cutdown following the preseason finale.

Then, on Friday, two veteran cornerbacks were let go: Flowers and Chris Houston from Detroit. Houston won't be on the Ravens' radar because he's not healthy. He received an injury settlement from the Lions after having toe surgery this offseason.

Flowers makes more sense to be targeted by the Ravens. One stumbling block could be money. The Ravens currently have $4.6 million of salary cap room, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Other potentially interested teams like the Falcons ($9.1 million under cap) and Texans ($8.9 million) have the flexibility to offer more.

It's difficult to put a percentage on the chances of Flowers landing with the Ravens. But there are plenty of reasons why the Ravens should show interest in him.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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