This ‘Red Flag’ Could Stunt Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed’s Trade Market: Report

Getty Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed.

Despite Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed being fresh off of one of his best-ever NFL seasons, Sportskeeda NFL insider Tony Pauline revealed a “red flag” that could stunt Sneed’s trade market this offseason.

“I have learned from numerous sources that Sneed has been dealing with a knee injury that prevented him from practicing for long stretches last season,” Pauline wrote on March 2. “This type of medical issue will surely raise red flags for any team wanting to employ Sneed with a big-money contract. Any trade will certainly hinge on an examination of the injury.”

Despite the lingering knee injury, which didn’t appear to hinder his play during the 2023 season, Pauline said the Atlanta Falcons “still have an interest in pursuing the cornerback.”

Timeline for L’Jarius Sneed’s Knee Injury

Sneed’s knee injury first appeared in the week leading up to the 2023 Super Bowl. He popped up on the injury report as a limited participant due to the injury, yet played in the Super Bowl with no limitations.

During the 2023 offseason, he was held out of mandatory minicamp due to knee swelling. Though the team said at that time he would be ready for training camp — which he was — Sneed was sidelined early in training camp and didn’t return until the 2023 regular season.

Sneed played in every regular season game except for the regular season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers (he was inactive for that game to gain some rest in preparation for the playoffs). He also played in every postseason game for the two-time defending Super Bowl champions.

During the 2023 season, Sneed was tasked with shadowing some of the NFL’s best receivers and succeeded in doing so. He kept Tyreek Hill (8-62 in Week 9, 5-62-1 in the AFC Wild-Card Round), Justin Jefferson (3-28 in Week 5), A.J. Brown (1-8 in Week 10), and Brandon Aiyuk (3-49 in the 2024 Super Bowl) in check during their respective matchups.

Steelers Have Interest in L’Jarius Sneed: Report

According to Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now, the Pittsburgh Steelers have expressed interest in acquiring Sneed. Farabaugh also confirmed the report by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and The Athletic’s Dianna Russini that Kansas City’s asking price for Sneed is a second-round pick.

As it stands, the Chiefs, who placed the franchise tag on Sneed on February 28, per The Score’s Jordan Schultz, have until July 11 to agree to a long-term deal with Sneed. If the two parties can’t agree on a deal, then Sneed can either sign his franchise tag — which would pay him a guaranteed $19.8 million for the 2024 season — or explore his trade market, with the latter being the more likely option.

According to Spotrac’s estimated market value, Sneed is worth a contract that pays him $65.3 million over three years, which is an average annual value (AAV) of $16.3 million.

Users on X, formerly Twitter, discussed the Chiefs potentially trading Sneed.

“Trading L’Jarius Sneed would hurt, but the Chiefs have shown they can replace a stud corner (Ward -> McDuffie). They are great at drafting corners,” Adam Best of Arrowhead Addict wrote. “That said, having two lockdown corners is what made their defense special last season. Hope they figure this out.”

“My guess is the chiefs trade Sneed to the highest bidder, probably recouping a 2nd (rounder) and a 5th (rounder) would be my guess,” another user wrote. “He is a great player but do not see the Chiefs giving him a long term contract when Veach drafts DB’s so well and has spent so much draft capital on that position.”

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