The Bengals have claimed rookie defensive back KeiVarae Russell, according to Rand Getlin (on Twitter). The Chiefs surprised everyone in the football world when they released the third-round rookie earlier this week. To make room, the Bengals cut guard Trey Hopkins.
Getlin reported yesterday that it was a “special teams numbers game” that led to Russell’s release. It’s fair to say that there is some agent-driven spin involved in that take. While there may be some truth to that, it’s extremely rare to see a third-round pick released in September. Any way you slice it, the selection of Russell was a failure by the Kansas City front office.
Russell racked up 60 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and six pass deflections in his final season at Notre Dame. The cornerback ran a 4.43 second 40-yard-dash at his Pro Day, helping to solidify his draft stock in the spring.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.