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Chiefs Still Mulling Franchise Tag Decision on L’Jarius Sneed

L’Jarius Sneed, if he hits the open market, will have an extremely healthy market to work with moving forward.



Pittsburgh Steelers CB L'Jarius Sneed
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed (38) gets set on defense in the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Peter Aiken)

INDIANAPOLIS — The Pittsburgh Steelers have enough room to make some moves in free agency, but making one huge move at cornerback seems feasible. Between Jaylon Johnson and L’Jarius Sneed, they have two options to make a big-time splash. But Sneed could be franchise-tagged by the Chiefs, which would take him off the market. Between him and Chris Jones, one of the two will be tagged. But Chiefs general manager Brett Veach intends to keep both.

“Certainly we want to do what we can to try to keep both those players and that’s going to be our goal and intent. Hopefully we’re able to figure something out. But every free agency is different, unique and crazy. We do have one tag, and I anticipate probably using it to help us. But I think our goal is to try to get both those players done and then work down the rest of our roster,” Veach said.

Sneed has become one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks over the last two seasons, and now, he has a chance to hit free agency for a massive payday. But he has expressed interest in a return to Kansas City.

“I would love to be back,” Sneed said. “I don’t want to go anywhere. It’s part of the business…I put my best foot forward the entire year. It’s all in the mind. Block it out, play ball.”

Regardless of whether he is franchise-tagged or not, the Steelers will either miss out completely on Sneed or have heavy competition. According to Tony Pauline, multiple members of the Eagles are trying to recruit Sneed to Philadelphia.

“I’m told three of Sneed’s college teammates from Louisiana Tech, who are presently on the Eagles roster, are actively recruiting the cornerback to come to Philadelphia via text messages and other methods,” Pauline wrote. 

Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger released his contract projections that have proven to be quite accurate in recent years. And he believes a realistic contract for Sneed would be around $17.5 million per year over three seasons with about two years of that being guaranteed at $35 million.

Whether the Steelers would want to make this big of a move remains up in the air, but it certainly would make sense to fortify the cornerback room with two top cornerbacks.