November 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) defends during the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings' Interest In Brandon Flowers Speaks Volumes About Their Secondary


As first reported by @Chiefsinsider and confirmed by Darren Wolfson, The Vikings have reached out to free agent cornerback Brandon Flowers. The New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons are also believed to have interest in the 2013 Pro Bowl corner, who was cut Friday by Kansas City.

We don’t know the Vikings’ exact level of interest in Flowers, but the fact that they would show any interest in him at all says less about Flowers and more about the Vikings’ current secondary depth. Despite an offseason spent rebuilding the NFL’s worst defensive backfield, the Vikings clearly still feel that there is more work to do.

Minnesota knew going into the offseason that they would have to almost start from scratch with their secondary. With that in mind, they quickly moved on from former starting cornerback Chris Cook, who has since signed with San Francisco.

The Vikings made the first big rebuilding move by signing cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. More minor free agent moves followed, including the acquisition of Chargers cast-off Derek Cox, and the re-signing of Marcus Sherels. The Vikes also addressed the safety position, picking up third-tier free agent Kurt Coleman, late of the Eagles.

With the free agency period over, the Vikings next turned their attention to the draft. Despite their glaring needs in the secondary, the Vikings left that area unaddressed until relatively late.

It wasn’t until the sixth round that the Vikings took their first secondary piece, selecting Antone Exum with the 182nd pick. The Vikings also selected CB Kendall James with the 184th pick, and CB Jabari Price with pick #225.

The Vikings would make one more minor pick-up after the draft, signing former Browns CB Julian Posey.

After all these moves, are the Vikings significantly better going into 2014 than they were at the end of 2013? They certainly have more options to choose from, but the majority of these are marginal veteran players and completely untested, late-round rookies.

Of all the Vikings’ DBs, only Harrison Smith and Captain Munnerlyn are relatively proven starting-quality players, and only Smith projects realistically as a potential Pro Bowler.

Xavier Rhodes has talent and he is learning, but he has frustrated his coaches at times during OTAs, and there are reasons to be concerned that he could hit a developmental wall in his second year.

Even after all the offseason movement, the Vikings have two secondary positions completely up in the air. Who will line up at safety alongside Harrison Smith? Who will hold down the other outside cornerback position when the Vikings go nickel and move Munnerlyn inside?

The Vikings looked at their cornerback options outside of the top 2 – Derek Cox, Josh Robinson, Shaun Prater, Marcus Sherels, Julian Posey, Kendall James, Jabari Price – and decided to give Brandon Flowers a call.

They made a call to a player who, despite his Pro Bowl selection in 2013, was rated last year as among the worst corners in the league by Pro Football Focus. They made a call to a player who arguably is not a good fit in Mike Zimmer’s scheme with its press-man looks.

They made a call to a player who arguably is only suited to playing the slot in Zimmer’s defense – even though they already signed a good slot corner in Captain Munnerlyn.

Why call Brandon Flowers at all? Because you looked at your depth chart and realized that you are still in some difficulty.

Despite making a concerted effort to give Mike Zimmer and his staff plenty of options to choose from in building a new secondary, it appears the Vikings still look at their defensive backfield as a significant weakness.

Improving the front-7, especially the defensive line, will help take some pressure off the back end of the defense, but you still need capable corners and safeties. Hopefully the Vikings can turn up some adequate DBs, because nobody wants to see a repeat of 2013. That defense was a disaster.

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Tags: Brandon Flowers Minnesota Vikings

  • Zack Selzman

    Your histrionic look at flowers ignores five solid years as though they never happened. The guy is a great gamble and adds depth at the slot position which is really where the Vikings lack depth. Hardly a move of desperation. The Vikings will not have a top 10 secondary next year, they won’t have a bottom 10 secondary either. Rhodes and Prater both looked good at the very end of the year last year and Munnerlyn and Cox were both good aquisitions that will make them better than they were last year. You have also completely ignored the role that an improved pass rush and new scheme will have on the secondary. The secondary needs work to be a top 10 secondary to be sure, but it will, without question, be much improved over last year.

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    We are hitting a window with Peterson and our hordes of first rounders. Going with Flowers means getting a chance to win this year. Despite what the media wants you to believe, the Packers don’t have the division sewn up and the Bears and Lions are still weak defensively.

    It’s worth it to get any Pro Bowl quality player for nickles on the dollar. It’s Reid’s fault for not being able to use him.

  • Tom W

    Wow. Obviously anyone can write articles on this site. Your articles leave something to be desired for sure. First off, you need to do your research instead of stealing thoughts from other’s. If you would have done your research you would have realized that last year Flowers was put in a defensive scheme that didn’t fit his skill set. He was recently signed to a big contract, the team changed their defensive scheme and his stats dropped. The reason the chiefs let him go was because you don’t pay that much to a slot corner and he didn’t perform well in the new defensive scheme. Any team with a need at slot corner would be a fool not to take a run at him. The Vikings showing interest in Flowers doesn’t show anything other than the fact that they are looking to improve the team. If they didn’t show interest in Flowers i would wonder what management was doing. The Vikings actually have some decent players in the secondary and they’ve upgraded the front seven which will help immensely. I seriously question your football knowledge after reading this article. Especially if you think that looking at Flowers is anything more than attempting to sign depth players.

  • Kevin Carlson

    Dan Zinski sucks.

    • Jeeves

      He can, on occasion, write a good article. I am very weary of his negative tone; especially in his headlines!

      • MikeH123

        I like his negative tone on some articles. Too many Vikings fans are POLLYANNAs (ie someone who thinks good things will always happen and finds something good in everything). We need realistic assessments that expose the Vikings weaknesses and pressure the team to solve the problems before it is too late (eg. in the middle of a losing season). At minimum, the Vikings need another CB and MLB. As the author has consistently pointed out to a chorus of critics, the Vikings made a terrible mistake last year by not signing Winfield and playing Josh Robinson in the slot,

        • Bob T

          While I agree MLB, is a concern,Do they move Greenway or will Jasper or Cole make the improvements needed. I don’t think Flowers is the answer. He is a slot CB. The depth chart there is Munnerlien, Robinson and Sherels. Sanford has been taking 1st team reps at safety with Sendejo Raymond Bishop and Coleman behind him. This leaves Cox maybe Exum S/CB Price Kendall and Posey at press CB. Finish teaching the LB corp and the DBs will be fine.

          • MikeH123

            My understanding is Munnerlyn will play on the outside until needed in the slot. Perhaps Flowers could play slot so they can keep the best CB Munnerlyn on the outside. Flowers must be good since he is drawing interest from 10 teams including the Vikings. I doubt any other CBs on the Vikings besides Rhodes and Munnerlyn could draw that much interest. I certainly don’t want Robinson in the slot and am leery about playing any from your list of unproven press CBs on the outside.

          • Bob T

            I can’t see them playing Flowers in the slot on Nickel coverage and have 5’8″ Munnerlyn going up against 6’2″ – 6’5″ recievers. The nickel is generally used when they are expecting the offense to throw. Robinson played some slot last year, and Sherels is a decent hitter. Cox can win the CB job and the backups are all 5’11″.Agreeing with you with LBs to take pressure of last CB position.We still don’t need Flowers.

          • MikeH123

            My understanding is Munnerlyn will play on the outside, even against tall WRs, until he is needed in the slot. Might as well keep him on the outside and get Flowers for the slot. I agree that it would be better to play Munnerlyn mainly only in the slot but that would mean they would need to find a good outside CB. I don’t see a proven outside CB among Cox, Robinson, Sherels, and Robinson. Robinson was the worst CB in the NFL last year while playing in the slot.

          • Bob T

            If NFL dot com has Robinson as the Vikings 3rd corner, that should say something about their knowledge of the Viking defensive backfield. With that said, I will bet NFL dot com and you, sir, a shiny quarter.I say the Vikings don’t sign Flowers this year, and IMO that’s a good thing. SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!

          • MikeH123

            I could say the same about those that think Cox will be the third CB – neither Cox nor Robinson are very comforting. Flowers could provide depth in case a third corner doesn’t emerge or there is an injury, which always seems to haunt the Vikings, especially since the Vikings face some tough QB/WRs in their division. It is unlikely the Vikings sign Flowers but only because 9 other teams want him.

          • Bob T

            o.k. They don’t need him really really bad, Just really bad.Or kinda bad.Or sorta bad. or we will call his agent, see what he wants and then pull out.I am pretty sure this staff can develop young players. I will go with that until THEY prove me wrong.SKOL VIKINGS!!!! Look that up.

  • jonny johnson

    Your writing ability is on par with that of a 4th grader. Please stop writing.

  • MikeH123

    I agree the Vikings need a third proven starting corner, either slot or outside, to add to Rhodes on the outside and Munnerlyn either on the outside or in the slot. The rest of the unproven CBs should be considered backups. Improving the secondary will take pressure off a questionable front seven. The Vikings should be looking for a MLB.

  • Cam Davis

    Thank your lucky stars if Flowers is in purple next season. He is a very good, hard working CB. You won’t be disappointed if he signs.

  • Bob T

    Flowers will absolutely NOT be wearing purple this year. Thank goodness. SKOL VIKINGS

  • Daniel Wallin

    i think you have miss spoken. flowers is a shut down guy. anytime you can pick up a guy like that you go after him. especially when your hosting the superbowl in three years homie. the vikings want to be in contension now. and everyone knows they need more guys in the back field. this would be a really smart move.

    • Bob T

      You know that Minnesota will be hosting the super bowl. I’ll give you that.Not sure about the rest of it.