In a bid to bolster a flagging secondary — and perhaps add some juice to a team that has lost four of its last five games — the Chiefs have signed veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis.
A corresponding move has not yet been announced.
Revis, 32, signed a two-year deal for the veteran minimum this year that includes no guaranteed money next year, a source confirmed to The Star, essentially amounting to a trial run in Kansas City.
Revis should provide an immediate boost to the league’s 28th-ranked pass defense. The Chiefs have had a revolving door at the cornerback spot opposite star Marcus Peters, with Terrance Mitchell, Kenneth Acker and Phillip Gaines each logging reps.
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Revis, who has been watching the Chiefs since the beginning of the season, is excited to form a tandem with Peters.
“He is really awesome — I love the way he plays,” said Revis, who will wear his usual No. 24 with the Chiefs. “He has taken the league by storm. He is a very talented player and I am excited about what we can do.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid didn’t rule out Revis playing immediately; the Buffalo Bills come to town on Sunday. But Reid stressed that the Chiefs still need to see how Revis looks once he begins practicing.
“There’s no hurry — he’s a veteran guy,” Reid said. “He looks like he’s in good shape, which he says he is. He knows the system; that’s the only reason I wouldn’t (rule him out Sunday). You’ve got to see where we’re at.”
When pushed further, Reid said he sees Revis eventually playing a prominent role in a secondary in which others have been “trying their hearts out” across from Peters.
“If you have to make a decision to go at one side or another, you go to other side,” Reid said. “Quarterbacks are gonna go opposite a Pro Bowler if they have a choice.”
The Chiefs are adding one of — in Reid’s words — the all-time great players at the position. The hope is that Revis will give the Chiefs a lift the way wide receiver Andre Rison gave the eventual-Super Bowl champion Packers a jolt in 1996, when Reid was an assistant in Green Bay.
“It’s just a matter of getting him back into the swing of things,” Reid said of the 5-foot-11, 198-pound Revis. “I’d think his role would be to step in and be a starter. That’s how I’d look at it.”
Reid said the Chiefs’ scouting staff consulted with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton before adding Revis, a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection who last made All-Pro in 2014 and the Pro Bowl in 2015.
Revis was at his apex during Sutton’s tenure with the Jets, where he served as a defensive coordinator (2006-08) and senior defensive assisant (2009-11).
“Bob has been very vital in my success,” Revis said. “Getting drafted to the Jets in 2007, he was the defensive coordinator. He helped me. He helped me grow as a football player. He helped me grow as a man.
“Actually teaming back up with him and loving what he does as a defensive coordinator was a no-brainer. I think that is one of the reasons I wanted to come play with the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Reid said Sutton was just as complimentary about Revis, and the Chiefs put stock in that assessment.
“Bob will tell you he is one of the most competitive guys around,” Reid said. “Very intelligent. Very instinctive player. I can tell you this, competing with him from an offensive standpoint: very hard worker, on the field and off. And again, that’s Bob saying it.”
Reid said the Chiefs consulted a few other veteran players about Revis and liked what they heard.
“He has a reputation for being a good guy — a hard worker and a good guy,” Reid said. “Players are good with that.”
Revis has plenty to prove, however, after he recorded just 53 tackles, five pass deflections and an interception with the Jets during a 2016 season in which he was coming off a wrist injury and admitted to being out of shape.
“As a competitor, it was very disappointing,” Revis said. “As a player, I was in a place where I had never experienced something like that before, especially coming off the wrist surgery. And our team not doing very well with the season ... there was a lot of ups and downs. Me being one of the leaders, you are under the microscope.”
Revis, however, said that after eight months of training and rest, he now weighs 208 pounds — only three pounds heavier than what he weighed in his prime. He expects to drop a few more pounds with ease.
“Right now, I think this is water weight — I probably chugged about eight waters today,” Revis said. “Once I actually get out on the field and running around, I am sure that water weight will shed off.”
When asked how much he weighed last year, Revis laughed.
“Way over,” Revis said. “Coming in off of wrist surgery and really just thinking I was OK at that time, I learned a valuable lesson, and I think that is why I took a lot of time off to really reflect on last year. Just use it as fuel for me as I continue my career.”
Reid said Revis also looked good during his visit to the facility on Wednesday.
“I will tell you, he looks great physically,” Reid said. “Time will take a step away from you. That happens. He’s a smart guy that knows how to play the game. But I’m not telling you he still can’t run. He can run.”
The Chiefs also hope Revis can be a positive addition in the locker room.
“He’s had a Hall of Fame career and his leadership and playing experience will be valuable to our defense,” general manager Brett Veach said in a statement.
Revis was due to count $15.3 million against the Jets’ 2017 salary cap before his release in March, which came 11 days after he was charged with four felonies after allegedly being involved in a fight with two men. The charges were dropped later that month.
Reid, however, said the injury is the reason Revis wasn’t added sooner. The Chiefs had been in contact with him since the beginning of the season.
“He’s ready to go now,” Reid said. “He was coming off the wrist (injury) he had last year, and this is when he was ready to go. We felt the same way.”
Now, Revis is eager to prove he still has juice left.
“I think the reason for me returning is the fire I have, the fuel I have to continue to play this game at a high level,” Revis said. “I’m excited about the signing today with the Kansas City Chiefs, a pretty great football team ... they’re doing pretty well right now, and I think for both parties it makes sense right now.”