UPDATE: 9:25 a.m. Arrowhead Time
The signing of Morris Claiborne is now official, per the Kansas City Chiefs’ official Twitter account.
We have signed free agent Morris Claiborne. pic.twitter.com/lAcNmg7qZA— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 9, 2019
The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to terms with free agent Morris Claiborne, according to a report from friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports.
The Chiefs have agreed to terms with free agent CB Mo Claiborne, a source tells me. He’s flying out to K.C. tonight.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) August 8, 2019
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport chimed in with the contract details.
Updating the Mo Claiborne contract numbers with the #Chiefs: It’s a 1-year deal that includes $1.5M in incentives. So, $3M is the total max, not including the money that’s taken away in the four-game suspension. Either way, fresh legs in October— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 8, 2019
Claiborne, 29, is a 5-foot-11, 192-pound cornerback who played college football at LSU. Claiborne’s time at LSU included two crossover years (2010-11) with current Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Claiborne entered the league as the Dallas Cowboys’ sixth-overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. Claiborne spent five seasons with the Cowboys before catching on for two years with the New York Jets. The NFL announced Monday that Claiborne would be suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Claiborne started 73 games (77 games) over the course of seven seasons in the NFL. During that span, he compiled 251 tackles (204 solo), including six tackles for loss, seven interceptions, 49 passes defensed, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.
According to 2018 Pro Football Focus marks, Claiborne graded as the Chiefs’ third-best cornerback on their current roster.
Our in-house medical expert, Aaron Borgmann, noted that Claiborne has missed 35 games “mostly to soft tissue injuries.” That includes 12 missed games due to a torn patella tendon in 2014 and nine missed games due to an injured groin in 2016.
Claiborne provides the Chiefs the comfort they lost when Keith Reaser tore his Achilles earlier this training camp. In my opinion, he will compete with D’Montre Wade for that fourth cornerback spot (the first outside cornerback off the bench) once Week 5 rolls around.
Claiborne will miss the following games: Week 1 at Jacksonville, Week 2 at Oakland, Week 3 vs. Baltimore and Week 4 at Detroit.
Even with no suspension, I doubt Claiborne would challenge Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland for their starting roles, as it stands now.