On Thursday, a report surfaced that the Kansas City Chiefs and the agent for cornerback, L’Jarius Sneed had discussed a contract extension. There’s no doubt Snead deserves a new deal in Kansas City, but will General Manager, Brett Veach get it done?
If you ask any draft expert to re-do the 2020 NFL draft, there’s no doubt L’Jarius Sneed would fall in the top 15 of the first round. Fortunately, the Kansas City Chiefs and their General Manager, Brett Veach, found a future star in the fourth round.
Snead has been the Chiefs best cornerback since his arrival in the 2019 season. Until Trent McDuffie arrived in 2022, Snead was bouncing inside and outside. At times, he was covering the team’s best receiver, but until McDuffie shut down his half of the field as a rookie a year ago, Sneed spent most of this year covering the likes of Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Justin Jefferson, Jerry Jeudy, Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill and this week the Eagles A.J. Brown.
During training camp, Snead dealt with a sore knee. Though he did not require surgery, he didn’t take any preseason snaps and was very limited in his training camp work. However, when the lights came on to start the season, Sneed has been fantastic.
With the report today from ESPN’s, Jeremy Fowler, the two sides are interested in extending a contract for the pending free agent. If true, this might be the first of many big decisions that Veach has upcoming to shape the 2024 roster.
The biggest obstacle to extending Sneed might be in the Chiefs’ decision to re-sign Chris Jones. His contract holdout didn’t yield the results both teams wanted, but in the end, Veach and Jones without his agents directly involved, agreed to a one-year deal.
Veach has some big decisions to make with Punter, Tommy Townsend, Linebacker Willie Gay, Drew Tranquill, and Nick Bolton, and offensive lineman, Trey Smith and Creed Humphries. It’s highly unlikely Veach can keep that entire core together.
Fortunately, the Chiefs have some young depth but losing all three linebackers to free agency, now or in the future, would be difficult to replace. Though Veach has drafted well since 2020, that success costs money and cap dollars.
To his credit, Snead has exceeded his draft value and intends to play out his rookie deal with the same play now as when it started. Still, if the two sides can come to terms on a team-friendly deal, knowing they’ll need cap space to sign some of the future free agents, I’d get something done.
The risk of letting Snead become a free agent would be disastrous for the Chiefs. His price point will only get higher if he hits the open market. As will be the case for a lot of these pending free agents, they’ll have to decide for the greener grass and coin on the other side, versus remaining in Kansas City and building a true NFL dynasty.
From my seat, to have that dynsasty conversation, Kansas City must win Super Bowl LVIII. If that happens, perhaps that view will lead Sneed and some of his teammates to stay in Kansas City.
However, at 25 years of age, the fact he’s a legit shutdown cornerback, and always plays at a high level, the lure of a huge contract might be tough to turn down.