KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs parted ways with rookie cornerback KeiVarae Russell Wednesday, quickly ending the tenure of their third-round draft pick.
Coach Andy Reid called the move purely a football decision.
“We felt that that was what was the best thing to do for the Chiefs right now,” Reid said. “He’s a good young man and I think he has a good future. But for right now that’s what we needed.”
The team selected Russell with the 74th pick overall in this year’s draft. The move makes the rookie the highest overall pick released by his team so far from this year’s draft.
The Chiefs quickly moved to replace Russell with linebacker Dezman Moses. The team release Moses four days ago to accommodate Eric Berry on the active roster.
The move to re-sign Moses likely connects with the strained hamstring injury suffered by linebacker Sam Barrington against San Diego Sunday. The team acquired Barrington to play special teams and backup at outside linebacker, the same roles Moses filled with the Chiefs.
Reid also cited the play of cornerback D.J. White as a factor in parting ways with Russell.
“He’s been playing pretty good, so that’s a positive thing,” Reid said of White. “Everyone of those, they balance out and you kind of go from there.”
Reid also did not rule out Russell returning to the Chiefs, possibly on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
“I wish him the best of luck,” Reid said. “He’s a good kid. You never know, in this business he could be back here.”