The Kansas City Chiefs turned some heads on Friday by parting ways with Brandon Flowers.

The 5-foot-9, 187-pound Pro Bowl cornerback has established himself as one of the NFL’s top players at the position, racking up 371 tackles with a pair of sacks, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries with 17 INTs through 88 games (87 starts) since joining the team as a second round pick (No. 35 overall) out of Virginia Tech in 2008.

The move may surprise some fans, but it makes plenty of sense. The cap-strapped Chiefs are reportedly saving a much-needed $7.5 million in 2014 and 2015 by parting ways with the talented corner and they tried to use him as trade bait before last month’s draft, but couldn’t find a team willing to take on his contract.

 

Flowers, 28, also floundered under new Chiefs DC Bob Sutton’s press-heavy scheme last season. He played a career-high 56 percent of his snaps in the slot and he “didn’t like that,” per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

TOP FREE AGENTS AVAILABLE

Nevertheless, the talented seven-year corner still offers a solid skill set as a full-time starter in the right system. We suspect a potential reunion with Atlanta Falcons general manager Scott Pioli, Houston Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel or Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report was also told by a handful of scouts last month that Flowers is still widely regarded as a “tough, scrappy player who is an above-average cover man.”

Atlanta has reportedly been monitoring Flowers’ situation in Kansas City and preparing for the possibility of him hitting the open market. But the Falcons should see plenty of competition.

Flowers has now emerged as the top player on the open market

Stay tuned to NFLDraftInsiders.net for updated news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com.   Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.  Be sure to NFL Draft insiders on Facebook and follow us on Twitter NFLdraftnetwork to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!