NFL News: Cornerbacks Chris Houston and Brandon Flowers hit free agency

Andy Lyons

There are is a new pair of veteran cornerbacks on the free agent market.

A pair of veteran cornerbacks with tons of starting experience have hit the free agent market. Chris Houston was cut by the Lions and Brandon Flowers was released by the Chiefs on Friday, according to several reports. Both have been productive starters in their careers, but injuries, scheme changes and other circumstances led to the end of stints with their respective teams.

Flowers, 28, is the big name here. While he went to the Pro Bowl last season, he was incredibly inconsistent. Primarily a slot cornerback, his lack of size (5-foot-9) and press-man skills signaled a drop in success during his first season under Bob Sutton. He started all 13 games in 2013 and had 68 tackles, one sack and only one interception. The former second round pick was cut, despite legal turmoil regarding fellow starting cornerback Sean Smith and the lack of experience and depth at the position.

Houston, 29, was a four-year starter for the Lions and served as their No. 1 cornerback over the years. A former second round pick, Houston has been a starter his entire seven-year career with both Detroit and Atlanta. However, Houston has dealt with nagging injuries over the past few seasons and hasn't played in an entire 16-game season since 2008. He holds the distinction of being one of only two players to intercept a Nick Foles pass in 2013. Houston is coming off offseason toe surgery.

It is unclear if the Eagles would have any interest in either player. While the starting cornerbacks, Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, aren't All-Star-caliber players, it is hard to see the team investing money in a short slot corner with a lack of a physical presence and an injury-prone defensive back that is heading into his 30's. Flowers would probably be an upgrade over Nolan Carroll, but he couldn't be trusted on special teams and would likely want a long-term deal. The team also still has Jaylen Watkins and Roc Carmichael.

On the flip side, Williams and Fletcher could be off the roster after next season and Chip Kelly does believe in competition. If Flowers and Houston were to sit on the market for a few weeks, they may be willing to taken one-year "prove it" deals. With the cap space that the Eagles have, it wouldn't put them in any bind to sign one of the cornerbacks to a one-year deal.

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