Chargers Editorial: Is Brandon Flowers the New Donald Butler?

copyright Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY

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Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

Seems like yesterday, Brandon Flowers, was one of the leagues most recognized corner backs. He was guarding the games best wide receiver’s and giving the leagues quarterbacks nightmares. The Chiefs had a star in the making that other team’s drool over and covet. Or at least that is what they thought.

The Chiefs drafted Brandon Flowers with the 35th overall pick in the second round. He was regarded as eighth best corner in the 2008 NFL Draft. Flowers was the highest Virginia Tech Hokie to be selected in an NFL Draft since DeAngelo Hall was drafted in 2004. Virginia Tech is widely considered a corner back’s haven.

Flower’s had a pretty productive first year in Kansas City posting 69 total tackles (62 solo), one forced fumble, 13 pass break-ups, two interceptions, and one touch down. In 2009 Flowers missed some time with a hurt shoulder. However, the corner back was still playing at an elite level. He accumulated 65 total tackles (58 solo), two forced fumbles, 23 pass break-ups, and five interceptions. Clearly, his production in the NFL was increasing.

The next year, in 2010, Flowers helped the Kansas City Chiefs jump 30th to 14th in total defense. Most of that jump was credited to Brandon Flowers. Another milestone for the Chiefs was that they won their first division title since 2003. Flowers finished the season with 65 tackles, 14 pass deflections, and two interceptions (one which he ran back for a touchdown). In 2011, another good year came for Flowers as he had 59 tackles and four interceptions.

The 2012 season and 2013 season saw Flowers miss games with nagging injuries. He recorded 48 tackles and one sack in 2012 in 15 games for the Chiefs. The next year in 13 games Flowers recorded 71 tackles and one sack while picking off one pass. He was named to a pro-bowl (his first) after the 2013 season. The Chiefs released the veteran in a surprise move and it did not take long for him to find work.

In 2014, Flowers signed a one-year deal with the San Diego Chargers. He looked to improve the soft Chargers secondary that lacked a supreme star in the defensive back field. He had several offers on the table, but ultimately chose the Chargers, due to his familiarity with the AFC West. He finished 2014 with 52 total tackles, 48 solo tackles, three interceptions, and 10 pass deflections. Keep in mind he only played in 14 of 16 regular season games that year for the Bolts.

Credit: Sporting News
Credit: Sporting News

With his numbers impressive enough for the Chargers, Telesco signed Flowers to a three-year deal for $36 million dollars. For sure Charger fans and organization though Flowers was the savior with all the great play on the field to back up the hype. He seemed like the perfect complement to Jason Verrett and the duo should shut down opposing teams wide receivers.

The 2015 season didn’t go as planned, leading to questioning the front office on the signing of Flowers to a long-term deal. He was put on IR (injured reserve), and really looked horrible all season. Flowers repeatedly avoided contact on the field while trying to make tackles.

Does the Flowers signing and end result of multiyear contract ring a bell? Does he compare to ex-Charger and  former Line backer Donald Butler?

So far, yes.

Donald Butler received a multi-year deal back in 2014 seven-year, $52 million dollar deal. He was cut this past year as the team was tired of his complacency. A combination of injuries and lack of productivity, led to Butler being released. The team had enough.

Flowers had an off-year last year, so lets hope he rebounds and doesn’t end up like Donald Butler. If he shows those tendencies again, I surely hope the Bolts have a backup plan. They also must not be afraid to pull the plug on him and get rid of him if he continues to show a lack of concern on the field. Brandon Flowers is needed for this Chargers team to be competitive. He cannot turn into a new version of Donald Butler, because that is just a waste of roster space. The Chargers team has confidence in this young man, hopefully he answers the bell when the game is on the line.

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