The Kansas City Chiefs have bolstered their cornerback depth with the signing of Morris Claiborne. The term is for a one year deal with a total max of $3 million, including $1.5 million in incentives.
Claiborne is a former 2012 first round pick by the Dallas Cowboys. While he was a favorable starter in Dallas, Claiborne had trouble staying healthy. He missed 33 games in 5 seasons with the Cowboys, which left the team’s hands tied. They were forced to move on from him due to the continuous injury problems.
In 2017, the New York Jets took a chance on him. Over the last two seasons there, Claiborne had arguably his two best seasons. He stayed healthy and was productive in coverage and tackling. Claiborne had a career high in interceptions (2) and pass deflections (14) last year.
Despite the increased production, Claiborne was left unsigned as teams began training camp this year. Part of that may be due to the fact that he will be suspended the first four games of this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. While he won’t be available until October, Claiborne does provide competition at the Chiefs weakest position, which can do more help than harm.
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Claiborne is coming off a steady 2018 season with the Jets. According to Pro Football Focus, Claiborne’s 2018 stats grade as third best among current Chiefs cornerbacks.
While he doesn’t jump off the television screen as a playmaker, Claiborne is a steady and reliable player in coverage. He can hold his own, especially in press coverage, where he shines most. Claiborne does tend to have a tougher time with more shallow routes and closing down on them. He may not be asked to play that style of defense too often, however.
It will be fun to see him reunite with Tyrann Mathieu. The two were teammates at LSU, where Claiborne was a consensus All-American. Overall, it’s a cheap signing for a veteran who creates instant competition at a position with little depth. This is yet another Brett Veach special, of signing a former first round pick and trying to get the best out of him. I think it’s definitely a smart signing that Kansas City needed to make. We’ll see if adding Morris Claiborne pays off or not for the Chiefs defense.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.