At the trade deadline, the Steelers’ pursuit of Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson was a hotly contested one, but it appeared they made a spirited push, but just could not get it over the finish line. Johnson is a free agent this spring so the Steelers could jump back into the sweepstakes for him then.
However, another cornerback, perhaps the top cornerback, will be available in the spring. That is Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Sneed plays all over the defense, from outside to the slot to safety. He’s the model of a Cam Sutton-like player who can play all around the formation. When ESPN named potential landing spots for Sneed, Pittsburgh’s name did come up in those discussions.
“Sneed’s do-it-all style will translate well to free agency, with the ability to play press coverage on the outside or be physical in the slot,” ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler wrote. “Kansas City would like to keep Sneed and has had preliminary contract talks with him, but right now both sides appear focused on the current season. Talks could reignite after it ends, and if they go nowhere, Sneed is a franchise tag or free agency candidate. Enough contending teams were looking for a corner at the trade deadline — including Buffalo, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh — that the market will be viable for him.”
Sneed’s a talented player who could form a solid duo with Joey Porter Jr. on the other side. That could latch Pittsburgh into having an expensive secondary, but one that teams will have to contend with for years to come. Sneed is still a potential franchise tag player for the Chiefs, too. But his tape is as good as any cornerback on the market this season, and he has continued to perform at a high level for multiple years in Kansas City.