Phillip Gaines, 5th Year
(6-foot-1, 193 pounds)
Contract: 1-year $790,000
Third-round pick (No. 87 overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Rice University.
Played in 41 games with the Kansas City Chiefs (16 starts).
Career stats: 1 INT, 14 deflections, 2 forced fumbles
Ended the 2015 and 2017 seasons on the Injured Reserve.
He has been anything but steady during his time in the NFL. As a relatively high pick, he was given the chance to play early and found a home as the Chiefs’ starting nickel. Although he has more experience than the other two candidates, he was rarely considered an impact player. His one interception in four years shows cause to pause.
Another alarming note is the Chiefs had no interest in re-signing him. When you let a third-round pick walk away from your team after their rookie deal, that means you lost faith in their ability along the way.
On the plus side, he will be surrounded by much more talent than he ever was during his time in Kansas City. Other than Marcus Peters, the Chiefs secondary was rough to say the least. Gaines is only 27 and is entering the prime of his career. Gaines getting a fresh start, with this starting group, could help live up to his draft value.
On a one-year deal, he will need to prove he belongs on the roster from day one.