When determining a player's value, the most simple way to do so is to ask: "How much would it hurt the team if the player was lost for the season?" So, that is how this list is compiled. Each player is valuable for different reasons, and here is why Brandon Flowers is the eighth most valuable player on the San Diego Chargers this season.
Our own Kyle Posey gave Charger fans an in-depth look at what Flowers brings to San Diego here. If you haven't checked it out (then you need to) I'll sum it up by saying he brings quite a bit. As long as he is not covering the slot receiver, the former Chief plays like one of the best corners in the league. Last season in Kansas City, one of the worst of his career, he was asked to play a lot of slot corner, as well as a lot of press-man. He likely won't be asked to do much of either this season.
Flowers excelled for the Chiefs previous to 2013 when he lined up at left cornerback and played off-man on whoever was in his zone. That is what the Chargers like to do with their corners. Shareece Wright, for example, played 349 snaps at left cornerback from week 14 on, against 29 snaps right cornerback or either slot corner (data from Pro Football Focus). Flowers in that role should be a nice upgrade.
Would the Chargers have been fine without Brandon Flowers? Sure. They were "fine" last year and they won a playoff game. Well guess what- I want more than one playoff win.
Shareece Wright played much better at the end of last year, but also missed quite a but of time during the year to injury. If he stays healthy and if he builds on improvement from last year, he should be in for a strong season. If Jason Verrett can play well in his rookie season, it will be a huge boost for the secondary. If Steve Williams plays as well in the regular season as he looks in the offseason, that is three solid corners without Flowers. See the theme? That is a lot of "if"s. To be fair, Flowers has battled injuries the past couple of seasons and did not play very well last year, but he is the only cornerback on the roster that has actually proven he can play like one of the best in the league. I'll take that over the "maybe"s and "if"s.
When you add a number one corner to your team, it doesn't just improve one position. It takes pressure of of Wright and Verrett, as well as allow the first-round rookie to focus on covering the slot in year one. Flower's presence should also help the development of Verrett and Steve Williams, who are both a similar size and learning a scheme that Flowers thrives in. You can never have too many corners, especially the way the game is played today. The Chargers got the best cornerback they've had on the roster on a long time, and shored up a position group with a lot of question marks.