L’Jarius Sneed Contract Demands Unveiled, Possible Chiefs Reunion Considered

Chiefs' Sneed Faces Complex Trade and Contract Negotiations.

by Nouman Rasool
L’Jarius Sneed Contract Demands Unveiled, Possible Chiefs Reunion Considered
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Nearly three weeks have elapsed since the Kansas City Chiefs opted to place the franchise tag on cornerback L'Jarius Sneed, anchoring him to the team that drafted him and with whom he has celebrated two Super Bowl victories in the last couple of years.

Despite persistent speculation about the Chiefs possibly trading Sneed, akin to their 2019 move with Dee Ford, no such transaction has come to fruition. As free agency unfolds and other trades are executed, potential suitors for Sneed appear to be dwindling.

The Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers have each secured veteran cornerbacks, opting for players who do not necessitate a fresh contract. Further dimming the prospects, Nate Taylor of The Athletic has reported that teams like the Vikings, Patriots, and Falcons have shifted their focus elsewhere.

Contract Hurdles Emerge

A significant stumbling block in any tag-and-trade scenario is the player's desire for a lucrative new contract. Taylor highlights this point, revealing Sneed's aspiration for a deal that would grant him approximately $20 million annually over a long-term period.

Moreover, Taylor hints at the Chiefs' expectations in any trade scenario: a second-round draft pick, or a third-rounder coupled with additional picks. Such demands present a substantial commitment for any team considering a trade, which may explain the stagnation in the market.

However, there's been speculative chatter about a potential trade with the Colts, suggesting that Sneed might yet find a new home. Despite these developments, Sneed's longstanding wish to remain with the Chiefs might still materialize.

In his analysis, Taylor consulted former NFL executive Randy Mueller, now with The Athletic, who emphasized Sneed's preference for staying in Kansas City, the perils associated with the franchise tag, and the Chiefs' current flexibility.

Mueller speculates that a three-year agreement, offering nearly $40 million in guarantees, might align with Sneed's interests. Such a deal would not only secure Sneed's immediate financial future but also assist the Chiefs in managing their salary cap space as they prepare for the upcoming season.

The Chiefs face a delicate balancing act. Trading Sneed would free up $19.8 million in cap space, thereby enhancing their ability to maneuver financially. Yet, negotiating a three-year contract valued at around $60 million, with $40 million guaranteed, could provide the team with a different kind of flexibility through strategic bonuses and incentives designed to mitigate cap impact.

As the NFL Draft approaches, serving as an informal benchmark before the July 15 extension deadline for franchise-tagged players, the prospect of Sneed securing a deal that would keep him with the Chiefs seems increasingly plausible, especially as recent developments hint at a stronger likelihood of his retention.