The Buffalo Bills might have found their nickel cornerback.
The team announced Thursday that it has signed former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines. A 6-foot, 193-pounder, Gaines is entering his fifth NFL season. He has spent the previous four years as a reserve with the Chiefs, appearing in 41 games (16 starts) with 100 tackles, 14 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one interception.
Gaines, 26, played collegiately at Rice, where he set a school record with 38 passes defensed. He became the first player drafted out of Rice since 1975 when the Chiefs took him in the third round of the 2014 draft.
Gaines finished ninth in Pro Football Focus' rankings of slot cornerbacks in 2017, allowing 20 catches on 34 targets for 331 yards and two touchdowns. He took 216 snaps in the slot, which ranked tied for 29th among cornerbacks, according to PFF.
The Bills have shuffled their cornerback depth chart since the end of the 2017 season. EJ Gaines signed with Cleveland and was replaced in the starting lineup by Vontae Davis, while Phillip Gaines could replace Leonard Johnson as the team's primary nickel back. Johnson remains unsigned as a free agent.