KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s been busy at One Arrowhead Drive with the 2014 draft class, as a third straight day brings another Chiefs’ draft selection under contract.
The Chiefs on Thursday signed cornerback Phillip Gaines, the team’s third-round pick (87th overall), to a four-year deal, his agent, Leonard Roth, confirmed with ChiefsSpin.com.
The Chiefs later confirmed the signing in a press release. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Gaines, who measures 6-1, 185 pounds, led the Rice Owls with four interceptions in 2013. He holds the school record with 38 career pass breakups.
A native of Converse, Texas, Gaines clocked a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He brings experience in press-man coverage, which will assist his transition to the Chiefs defensive scheme.
“We pretty much played press-man I’d say 80 percent of the time,” Gaines said during his Day Two media conference call. “We were in press‐man because they trusted me and the other corner, Bryce Callahan, with the abilities. We pretty much played press‐man all the time. I’m really confident in it.”
Gaines enjoyed a decorated on-field career at Rice as a two-time All-Conference USA selection, and he allowed just 13 completions on 40 targets during his senior season. Gaines appeared in 52 games (40 starts) and served as a team captain his last two years in college.
But his off-field behavior led to two marijuana incidents. The first came in 2011, which led to a sentence of one-year probation and the last occurrence in January 2013 where he failed a drug test, which led to a one-game suspension.
The Chiefs did their due diligence on Gaines, and Chris Ballard, Chiefs director of pro personnel, told reporters during Saturday’s post-draft press conference the team came away satisfied with the results.
“I’m very close with the head coach,” Ballard said, “I’m very close with the defensive coordinator and I’m very close with another coach on that staff, and they all vouch for this kid.
“And they speak very highly of his character and what he stands for. I’ve been doing this a long time, especially in that area, and absolutely have tremendous faith in the kid and who he is as a person.”
For his part, Gaines took full responsibility for his off-field transgressions when he spoke to reporters Friday night.
“I dragged my family and I dragged my teammates into it,” Gaines explained, “but I’ve grown from it. You live and you learn. Fortunately enough, I’ve learned and I have the opportunity that I’ve been drafted by the Chiefs. They don’t have anything to worry about. I’m just ready to go.”
While his specific role has yet to be determined, Gaines offers press-man experience, speed and length on defense, areas that suffered down the stretch of the 2013 NFL season.
“He has all the physical dimensions we ask for in a corner,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said of Gaines during Day Two’s post-draft press conference. “He’s long, he’s fast and he has long arms.”
Gaines joins a pair of sixth-round picks, guard Zach Fulton (193rd overall) and offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (200th overall), as members of the Chiefs’ 2014 draft class under contract.
The team’s remaining draft picks still unsigned are outside linebacker Dee Ford (23rd overall), running back De’Anthony Thomas (124th overall) and quarterback Aaron Murray (163rd overall).