KeiVarae Russell Waived by Chiefs: Latest Comments and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2016

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Seantavius Jones (6) catches the ball over cornerback KeiVarae Russell (26) during NFL football training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

The Kansas City Chiefs have already given up on 2016 third-round selection KeiVarae Russell, waiving the cornerback Wednesday morning. 

The Chiefs announced the roster move, which also included the signing of linebacker Dezman Moses, on their official Twitter feed.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid explained the move, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com:

It's unusual to see a player drafted so high be let go just one week into his rookie season. But Russell struggled to stand out during training camp and the preseason, which prevented him from climbing the Chiefs depth chart.

In turn, he was among the inactives when Kansas City opened the regular season with a thrilling 33-27 comeback victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Notre Dame product previously explained to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star he endured problems trying to get comfortable within the team's defensive scheme: "I'm getting better, but I definitely struggled at first. I still had a lot of what I learned in college in my mind...when I'd go out to practice, the terminology I was supposed to say, I wouldn't say it the right way or I'd put it into a different defense. It's been tough, mentally."

He added: "I know I can play with these guys, but that's how the league is. Some guys grasp it the first day, and some guys take a little longer."

Alas, now Russell will likely be forced to change organizations and start the process of learning the defense all over again.

Although it's possible the Chiefs could bring him back into the organization on the practice squad, it's doubtful a player taken in the third round just five months ago will pass through waivers. Another franchise will likely claim him to serve as secondary depth.

Russell is still an intriguing prospect based on his high-end athletic talent, which included a 4.44-second 40-yard dash time at his pro day, per NFL.com. But the fact that Kansas City gave up on him so quickly suggests his journey to consistent playing time may be a long one.

                                                       

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