- Ben Goessling, ESPN Staff Writer
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings' interest in former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers, as reported by 1500ESPN.com, requires a bit of conjecture about how Flowers would fit into the Vikings' defense. After five impressive seasons with the Chiefs, Flowers struggled in 2013 as part of defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's new scheme, which emphasized press-man coverage, and even though he made the Pro Bowl for the first time, his release seemed like a foregone conclusion after he chafed at being moved to nickel back in Kansas City's defense and skipped the team's offseason workouts. That's not the ideal résumé for a team that will employ plenty of press coverage, like the Vikings plan to do.
But the Vikings' cornerback depth might still be the biggest question mark on their roster, which means they're not in a position to rule out any options that could help their secondary, especially with just five weeks to go before training camp. The Vikings' defense will be based in man coverage with some zone principles, so it's possible Zimmer and his staff could find a fit for Flowers, who also was hampered by a knee injury last season and should be healthier in 2014.
The alternative, of course, is hoping that Derek Cox -- who's also trying to remake his career after a bad scheme fit in San Diego -- can play well on a one-year contract, Josh Robinson can figure things out in Year 3, Marcus Sherels can continue to overachieve or a serviceable corner can emerge from a group containing Shaun Prater, Robert Steeples, Julian Posey and rookies Kendall James and Jabari Price.
If the Vikings are willing to spend a decent chunk of their remaining $7.7 million in cap space to see if they can work Flowers into their defense, they'll likely be motivated by the knowledge that cornerback depth is vital in a division loaded with prolific quarterbacks, and the need to make sure they have enough of it a year after allowing the most points in the NFL. They should be better in 2014, with Xavier Rhodes starting Year 2 in a scheme that fits his skills nicely and Captain Munnerlyn on the roster to man the slot position. But it's good to have options, and if the Vikings wind up with Flowers, it'll be because they're more willing to gamble on their ability to work a talented player into their scheme than they're willing to assume they're all set in the secondary.