With an ankle injury to 2013 first round draft pick D.J. Hayden shining a light on their noticeable lack of depth at cornerback, the Oakland Raiders have a need for a player the caliber of former Kansas City Chief Brandon Flowers.
As reported by CBSSports.com the Chiefs released Flowers on Friday after he failed to report to camp, apparently unhappy with his role in the Chiefs new defensive scheme and unwilling to restructure his contract after a Pro Bowl appearance last season.
Flowers has 17 career interceptions and has averaged over 60 tackles per season in his six-year career. He's played his entire career with the Chiefs, and his release comes as somewhat of a surprise after he made the Pro Bowl last season.
The projected starters at corner for the Raiders are Hayden and Tarell Brown, with Carlos Rogers in the slot and Chimdi Chekwa as the dime back. Rookie Keith McGill and converted running back Taiwan Jones are competing with a handful of others for roster spots, leaving little on the shelf should Hayden remain injured or anyone else get hurt.
Hayden is expected back by training camp, and he has shown considerable improvement this year after being injured most of last season. Should this injury sideline him for any length of time or slow his development, the Raiders have a very thin group with little overall NFL experience or success.
Although they upgraded many positions this offseason, cornerback is an area in which the Raiders failed to add much quality depth. They basically swapped out underperforming veterans Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter with Rogers, whose best days are likely behind him, and Brown.
In the draft, the Raiders waited until the fourth round before grabbing McGill, who showed flashes of talent at Utah but had off field issues that he must prove are behind him. They also picked up Bay Area native T.J. Carrie from Ohio University in the seventh round, but not much is expected from him at this point.
The Raiders still have roughly $9 million left in cap space. If Flowers is willing to negotiate a fair deal in the range of his current $5.5 million base salary, the Raiders can afford to sign him to a fair contract. Flowers has shown excellent coverage and tackling skills throughout his career, and having played for so long with the division rival Chiefs, he can be a valuable asset in the meeting room.
With a need at the position and the money to pay Flowers, the Raiders should at least reach out to the former Chief and entertain the idea of bringing him to Oakland.
All stats taken from ESPN.com. Salary cap information from overthecap.com