WEDNESDAY, 3:30pm: The Chargers have waived cornerback Brandon Jones in order to clear a spot on the roster for Flowers, the team announced today (Twitter link).
TUESDAY, 6:24pm: Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link) has the exact breakdown of Flowers’ deal. The veteran gets $1.5MM to sign, $1.5MM in base salary, and up to $2MM in incentives. In order to earn that full $2MM in incentives, Flowers needs to play in 92.5% of the Chargers defensive snaps and the team must advance to the AFC Championship (link).
5:53pm: Flowers’ deal can earn him up to $5MM, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The cornerback will now have the opportunity to prove himself this season and cash in next offseason at the age of 29.
4:01pm: The Chargers have reached an agreement on a contract with free agent cornerback Brandon Flowers, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (Twitter link), it’ll be a one-year pact for Flowers in San Diego.
After being cut by the Chiefs earlier in the month, Flowers paid a free agent visit to the Chargers last week, and later met with the 49ers as well, according to Garafolo (Twitter link). By joining the Chargers, Flowers will remain in the AFC West and face his old team twice in the 2014 season, and will also be signing with the team that topped last week’s PFR poll asking where the cornerback would land.
Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) suggest 2013 was a down year for Flowers as he struggled to fit in new Kansas City defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s scheme, ranking as just the 87th-best CB in the league among 110 qualified players. However, PFF rated Flowers as a top-seven corner in both 2011 and 2012, and the former Chief is still only 28 years old. That makes him an intriguing option for a Chargers team whose corners all had even worse PFF grades than Flowers in ’13.
By signing a one-year contract with San Diego, Flowers will have the opportunity to show that 2013 was an aberration, and will be eligible to hit the open market again at age 29. Considering the kind of deals we saw this year’s group of top cornerbacks sign in free agency, a bounce-back year from the former Virginia Tech standout could result in another nice payday next March. It would also go a long way toward solidifying a Chargers secondary that also added first-round cornerback Jason Verrett.
The Vikings, Ravens, Falcons, and Lions were among the other clubs who reportedly had some level of interest in Flowers, who received inquiries from about 10 teams when he first became available. However, if those teams – and others – are still on the lookout for veteran cornerback help, they’ll have to turn to a group of free agents that looks significantly less appealing without Flowers heading it up. Chris Houston, Terrell Thomas, and Drayton Florence are among the players still available, as our list of FAs shows.
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