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Will L’Jarius Sneed Play for the Chiefs in 2024?

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The Kansas City Chiefs officially placed the Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag on Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. With legal free-agency tampering set one week from today, the Chiefs and Sneed have time to either sign a new deal or work out a trade with another NFL team. So what happens next?

In the worst-kept secret in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs used their franchise tag on the game’s best cornerback. In doing so, L’Jarius Sneed counts $19.8 Million on the 2024 salary cap. They have the room for now to carry that number and workout a deal with their other prized free agent, Chris Jones.

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Logic would suggest General Manager Brett Veach feels confident he can get a deal done with Jones. The three-time Super Bowl Champion has made it very clear he intends to end his career in a Chiefs uniform. Still, he is represented by the Katz Brothers, and despite Jones’s claims he wants to stay in Kansas City, his agents might drag out talks until the beginning of free agency.

As for Sneed, his agents have been very upfront with their desire to test the market, and talks with the Chiefs have been civil and direct. In allowing Sneed’s agent to negotiate a sign-and-trade deal with another team, Veach holds all the leverage on any agreement with an NFL team.

Sneed is the NFL’s best cover cornerback, and numerous teams are interested in his services. Most notably, many interested parties have the capacity to handle a massive contract.

The teams that make the best case for Sneed are the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, and the Los Angeles Rams.

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Detroit and Atlanta have been mentioned the most, and though the Chiefs want a first-round pick for Sneed, their chances are slim unless a bidding war arises. Two years ago, Veach sat back and watched the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins outbid one another to land Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill.

Sneed won’t net that kind of return, but the Cardinals and Rams have desirable first-round picks, which would benefit the Chiefs. The Rams have the 19th pick, and the Cardinals have the 27th pick. Veach could land a first-round pick if the two teams get into a bidding war over Sneed.

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The Lions pick 29th, three spots ahead of the Chiefs, and the Falcons have the 8th pick, but they won’t part with the selection for Sneed. Instead, they’d have to deal with their 2nd round pick, #43, and a third-day pick to get Sneed. The Lions have the 61st pick in round two, and if I’m Veach, he might also want their third-round pick.

Either way, Veach is playing with house money. He has plenty of time to get a deal done with Sneed and convince him what awaits him if the Chiefs become Super Bowl champions again. He could play on the franchise tag and worry about a new deal next offseason.

However, it appears Sneed will end up with another NFL team. Sneed has two rings already; he was a fourth-round draft pick and made less than $1M last season, and now he wants to get paid. Honestly, I can’t blame him one bit. He’s earned a big payday, but I wonder if that will come from the Chiefs.

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