Claiborne was arguably the most talent free agent left unsigned. It all made sense when the NFL announced that Claiborne will be suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season. He was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Just two days before their first preseason game, the Chiefs decided to take a chance on the cornerback.
The Chiefs will fly Claiborne to Kansas City tonight. He will take his physical tomorrow. There was no indication of an injury during Claiborne’s search for a new team. The four-game suspension is something that turned teams away from the corner. A healthy Claiborne is not something we have seen over the course of his career.
Claiborne’s Injury History
The Dallas Cowboys selected Claiborne with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. Since entering the league, Claiborne has yet to play all 16 games in one season. He played 15 games in his rookie season, but it all seemed to go downhill after that.
Claiborne was limited to 10 games in his second season due to a hamstring injury. In 2014, Claiborne missed 12 games after tearing his patellar tendon in his left knee. It did not improve in 2015 as Claiborne’s hamstring again forced him to miss time. Claiborne suffered a sports hernia in 2016 which forced him to miss nine games. This was enough for the Cowboys. They got rid of Claiborne following the 2016 season.
Claiborne spent the last two seasons in New York as a member of the Jets. He had two strong seasons. Claiborne played 15 games in each season for the Jets. He finished 2018 with 57 tackles, 14 pass deflections, two interceptions, and one touchdown. In 2019, Claiborne will miss four games, but not due to an injury. He will look to start over in Kansas City and show that he can stay healthy for an entire season.
Claiborne Joins Familiar Face
Claiborne now adds a suspension to his long list of reasons for missing games. Signing with Kansas City means that Claiborne will be reunited with a former teammate.
Claiborne was a teammate of Tyrann Mathieu’s during their time at LSU. The Chiefs brought in Mathieu to sure up their secondary. They have now brought in a second All-American out of LSU. Mathieu has dealt with his fair share of off the field issues in the past. He has turned everything around and could be a positive influence on Claiborne.
This is a show me deal for Claiborne. The Chiefs added the 29-year old knowing that he will be unavailable for four games. This is a low risk, high reward signing. If healthy, Claiborne can be an important piece for Kansas City. They are very thin at cornerback. Aside from having little depth, their starters have dealt with nagging injuries.
Bringing in Claiborne gives the Chiefs stability in 2019 as they look to make a run at the Super Bowl. If he can stay on the field, there is a reason to believe that the Chiefs secondary can be dangerous.