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Chiefs try to stop skid with Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis is 32 years old, and hasn’t played an NFL game in 11 months. Despite wanting to play this season, the future Hall of Fame cornerback remained a free agent until Wednesday, when the Kansas City Chiefs signed the veteran to a two-year deal that includes the veteran’s minimum this year and a team option for $10 million in non-guaranteed money for 2018.

The move is both smart and desperate, and yes, both are true in this instance. Kansas City was 5-0 and the darling of the league before having a horrendous midseason skid that has brought its current record to 6-4. The most recent disaster was on Sunday, when the Chiefs lost 12-9 in overtime to the previously 1-8 New York Giants.

While Kansas City has many issues ranging from a soft offensive line in the run game to a pass rush that has nine quarterback hits over the past five weeks, one of the major concerns has been the secondary. Marcus Peters has continued to play like an All-Pro, but the corner opposite him has been awful, whether it’s Phillip Gaines, Kenneth Acker or Terrance Mitchell.

Revis is the answer — or at least general manager Brett Veach hopes he’s the answer — to these issues. Nobody reasonable expects Revis to come in and play at the level he was at during his peak, but even a decent version of Revis would be a welcome addition in the heartland.

Kansas City has nothing to lose with this signing. If Revis comes in and can’t play well, the Chiefs aren’t out any real money both in the long and short term. If Revis somehow rediscovers himself and plays like a Pro Bowler, Kansas City has him under contract through 2018, and combined with a healthy Eric Berry and Peters, the Chiefs would have an elite secondary.

After getting off to such a hot start, Kansas City has to do something. Teams have been attacking Gaines at will during his action, while Acker has been lambasted repeatedly. The Chiefs aren’t going to get deep into the playoffs with anything resembling Gaines and Acker on the outside, and while Revis has no guarantees coming with him, there’s at least a chance of improvement.

This feels like a Hail Mary from Veach and the Chiefs because it is. Kansas City knows that this is the end of the line or a once exciting season if something surprising doesn’t emerge. Revis would certainly qualify as such, if he has anything left in the tank.

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