Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Vikings reportedly interested in CB Brandon Flowers

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated: June 16, 2014 - 11:59 AM

The Vikings, looking to rebound from a season in which their defense allowed the most passing touchdowns in the NFL, are interested in free-agent cornerback Brandon Flowers, according to multiple reports. Flowers, a Pro Bowl player in 2013, was released by the Chiefs last week.

Flowers had been a starting cornerback for the Chiefs since his rookie season in 2008. In 88 career games, he has recorded 17 interceptions and broken up 91 passes, but he set career lows in those categories a season with ago with one interception and eight passes defended.

He supposedly struggled with the transition to the press coverage that the new Chiefs coaching staff employed in 2013. As a result, he lined up in the slot a lot, something that he didn’t like. Flowers was targeted 96 times in coverage, according to Pro Football Focus, and allowed 64 completions for 864 yards and four touchdowns. But he was still selected to his first Pro Bowl.

The Chiefs had rewarded Flowers with a six-year, $49 million extension in 2011, but they deemed him expendable, especially with Alex Smith and Justin Houston heading into contract seasons.

There is a lot of interest in Flowers, and the Vikings are reportedly one of 10 teams that have reached out to the 28-year-old’s representatives, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.

The Vikings are set at one outside cornerback spot with Xavier Rhodes, who is expected to take another step forward in his second season, and they signed free agent Captain Munnerlyn to start in their base defense and move inside to cover slot receivers in sub packages. Youngster Josh Robinson and veteran Derek Cox are among those in the running to be the third cornerback.

But while Flowers would seemingly be an upgrade, he and the Vikings might not be an ideal fit.

The Vikings have the salary cap space needed to sign him for both the short or the long term, but he may prefer to play for a clear contender such as the Ravens, who reportedly are also interested.

And if he really is better suited to play off coverage as opposed to press man, that could be a concern for the Vikings, who figure to play a lot of press coverage under new coach Mike Zimmer.

It sounds like the courtship of Flowers by NFL teams is in the preliminary stages, so stay tuned.


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