Chiefs News: GM Drops Cryptic Comment on $65 Million Star’s Future

L'Jarius Sneed

Getty Chiefs star L'Jarius Sneed at Arrowhead Stadium on August 25, 2022.

The Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has several difficult decisions to make this offseason. However, figuring out how to keep their two biggest defensive stars is a colossal task.

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed hit free agency in March. A franchise tag on Jones would cost the Chiefs north of $32 million. projects Sneed earning a four-year, $65 million contract in free agency. A franchise tag for Sneed would cost the Chiefs $19.8 million.

Even with the inflated salary cap for 2024, keeping both seems near impossible. Speaking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on February 27, however, Veach said his “goal” is to keep both. Veach strongly insinuated they are planning to use their franchise tag on Sneed.

“There’s challenges,” Veach said. “We’ll go through them and we’ll always put our best foot forward. We certainly want to do what we can to try to keep both of those players, and that’s going to be our goal and intent.

“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 of those players done and then work down the rest of our roster.”

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported shortly afterward that Kansas City is “prepared” to tag Sneed,” and open to “consummate a trade off it if no long-term deal is reached. Sneed is agreeable to the scenario, giving him chance to talk with other teams while K.C. remains in play.”

The Chiefs have until March 5 to decide on a franchise tag. While the Chiefs seem to have a solid insurance plan in place if Sneed walks in free agency, keeping him in Kansas City is crucial for a legit run at a Super Bowl three-peat.

Chiefs Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed Wants to Get Paid

The Chiefs’ fourth-round pick from the 2020 NFL draft has spent his entire career in Kansas City. While the two-time Super Bowl champ would love to stay, Sneed understands this is a business. At age 27, this is Sneed’s best chance to secure the bag.

Speaking to Kay Adams on “Up & Adams” on February 15, the Louisiana Tech alum was asked what he’d like to tell Veach ahead of free agency.

“Pay me,” Sneed said.

“Pay me, pay me. That’s what I’ve got to say. Pay me.”

When asked if he’ll stay and go for a three-peat with the Chiefs, “I hope so,” Sneed said. “I hope I’m here. But you never know how it goes. And I hope I’m here. I’m just planning on just doing what I do, play ball, and wherever I’m at, I’m gonna do my best.”

Sneed is aware of the big decision Veach must make between him and Jones. “They can’t keep both of us,” Sneed said.

However, Veach believes they can deliver Sneed and Jones competitive offers. “I think if you get close in negotiations, I think you get the added benefit of the ties [going] to the Chiefs,” Veach said. “Because I think if all things were equal, it is a money deal at the end of the day and people aren’t going to turn down a huge discrepancy in contracts, but I think we get the benefit of breaking all ties.”

Brett Veach Called Keeping Chris Jones ‘Top of the List’

Chris Jones

GettyChiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024.

The main reason Sneed’s future in Kansas City remains in doubt is due to the fact the Chiefs are expected to prioritize keeping Jones. He is the central piece of Chiefs coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, an irreplaceable star.

“He’s at the top of the list,” Veach said of the five-time Pro Bowler. “Love Chris. (Last year), we tried really hard to get something done and we didn’t. But when we got together right after that Detroit (Lions) game, we had a great talk and both parties, I think, want to be here. We’ll get to work, and that’s certainly a guy we want back and love and want to see him finishing his career here in Kansas City.”

Jones is predicted to earn a three-year, $85.4 million contract as a free agent. Giving Jones, who turns 30 in June, even close to his market value will create havoc on the team’s salary cap. However, if Jones is open to taking a discount to help keep much of the team intact, Veach can maybe make some salary cap magic happen.

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