Three Quick Thoughts On Kansas City Chiefs Secondary Situation

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Oct 20, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive back Chris Owens (21) prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs released Brandon Flowers on Friday, which shouldn’t be news to anyone at this point. Andy Reid and Bob Sutton now need to figure out how divide out the responsibilities in the secondary now that they are without their Pro Bowl cornerback. Here are a few quick thoughts on the Chiefs cornerback situation 48 hours removed from the news.


There is an immediate feeling amongst fans and media the five corners who will make the Chiefs roster will be Marcus Cooper, Sean Smith, Phillip Gaines, Chris Owens, and Ron Parker. The only other corners who seem to be in a position to earn a spot on the team would be cousins David and DeMarcus Van Dyke, with fringe guys Vernon Kearney and Malcolm Bronson needing several dominoes to fall if they want a shot at the 53-man.

There are, however, some issues with this line of thought, starting with Owens. Owens, who is listed as 5-9, 180, is not nearly as accomplished of a corner as Flowers and is smaller than him. The immediate assumption is Owens will take over the slot role but there may be a chance Owens is more of an insurance policy than he is the Chiefs nickel man. Consider that only $70,000 of Owens’ one-year, $800,000 contract is guaranteed (in the form of a workout bonus we assume he’s earned). Kansas City could cut him tomorrow and suffer only a very tiny dead money penalty for doing so.

John Dorsey has already displayed a willingness to cut a player at any time in order to take a shot at a young prospect, Cooper being the prime example of Dorsey’s willingness to make bold moves. With Dorsey being on record before the draft about the cornerback position being one of the deepest in this past year’s draft, it would seem to stand to reason there will be a corner or two cut after the preseason that may be attractive to Dorsey. Owens may be the fall guy in that situation.

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Tags: Chris Owens Eric Berry Kansas City Chiefs

  • mnelson52

    I disagree that Dorsey released Flowers more for youth than cap money. It was definitely a financial move.

  • Kisersosay

    Good read Ben….although I had to chuckle at your comparison of Berry to Thomas using Berry vs. Manning and Thomas vs. Kap. The comparison of the two Safeties also is stacked in Thomas’s favor when factoring in Lewis vs. Chancelor sitting by your side. Let alone the fact that Thomas plays FS and Berry plays SS. But your point that Berry needs to step up this year is spot on. I am excited to see what happens with him playing more on the back end of the defense instead of lining up as a LB.

  • A1 Yola

    Teams are gonna throw outside at the Chiefs. EB’s PFF score will still look good;) Why would teams throw inside, when you got rookies on the outside that you can exploit?!

    • area

      I get your point, however, Smith will be in his second year in the same scheme, cooper we just have to hope does not suffer from a sophomer slump. I see Gaines in the slot, maybe Commings, we’ll see. Either way, opposing teams will be looking to unload on the Chief’s young secondary extremely fast, they better, because our pass rush is coming. I just hope it’s enough.

  • Stan Colbert

    In San Francisco first Super Bowl they started 3 rookies in the secondary.

  • tm1946

    I dislike saying it but this move HAD to be made. Players, who have out priced themselves out of their team and, for whatever reason, do not get a team helpful adjustment, have to move on.

    That said the spin on this action is about as silly as it gets, much like not drafting a WR, “we don’t need no WRs, what is on the roster is not only good enough but better”.

    NOTE: Ben pointed out Owens is ” not nearly as accomplished” as Flowers….. that means he is NOT BETTER, read the posts. Now spin away.

  • preston riley

    in defense of Berry with regard to game changing plays. big hit on goal line late in playoff game could have been game winner but ball just took lucky bounce right to Luck. Big pick six to start off game v. Eagles. Also had what should have been game clinching int v. cowboys but for a questionable d-holding penalty. I think he is fully capable of making those big time game changing plays.

    I also think last year the chiefs DBs got spooked by the calls against them in first Denver game and it changed how they played. They should look to seattle in this instance also. Seattle just keeps playing same way regardless of calls – and they come out ahead in the long run.

  • Roger Mihalko

    I would drop owens now, he just doesn’t size up for the scheme, minus owens, everyone of the db’s is 5.11 or bigger. I would keep as many of these young guys as will squeeze into the roster. They are big and fast group and the more we have the better, for scheme and depth.

    Sutton has to get to it, and work the three areas, line, backers, DB’s. The line has a lot of competition… need to get someone solid to spell Poe at NT, plus two blood thirsty animals for DT’s to rush and also maul anyone who tries to rush the ball.

    Backers, inside, we have a couple, DJ is a lock, but he needs backup (hopefully one of the other 9 johnsons on the roster can be that role). I’m not sold on Joe Mays, but not a lot of choice, would rather see a bigger younger step up ( here enters the johnsons again). This needs to evolve so the strong safety can stop playing backer.

    Outside is pretty dam good, hali, houston, ford, zombo…. solid solid.

    DB’s, I think the base 4 will be smith, cooper, berry and abdullah. Plug in the best fits for backup and scheme change up from the remaining DB’s.

    Personally I would ask Kearney if he wants to convert back to Wideout, 6.2 4.4 speed…that big, fast, take the top guy we need to make Avery pay attention and for jenkins to figure out how to run routes and be a big NFL player dude.

  • e_racer

    Flowers was released because of the cap situation, but also because he did not fit the defense. Although he went to the pro-bowl, he was not effective. Some of that was due to injuries during the season, but a lot of that was due to mismatches. Flowers gave it his all, and his timing was impeccable. He delivered big hits, but was too small, and lacked ideal speed. The Chiefs have some young talent that will be tested this year. It was a gamble to release Flowers, but the status quo was not getting the team anywhere. This will not be the last shoe to drop. Next year the Chiefs will be forced to make even more hard choices.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Owens is perfectly suited for the role Flowers just vacated. He’s a pretty good slot corner. He’s a cheaper, faster, version of Flowers at nickel.

  • Nicholas Franco

    berry can make those game changing plays and he did in the playoff game when he made donald brown fumble on the goal line. but we all know what happened after that (bounces off a players head into andrew lucks hands). so berry is very capable of making those plays.