$19 Million Playmaker Eyeing Vikings as Trade Destination, Insider Reveals

Kevin O'Connell, Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings‘ defensive transformation has caught the attention of Kansas City Chiefs top cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who is available by trade this offseason.

After the Chiefs placed a $19.8 million franchise tag on Sneed in hopes of trading the star cornerback, Sneed is interested in playing for the Vikings, especially under Brian Flores, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported.

“He wants to play for Brian Flores. L’Jarius Sneed would love to be here now,” Wolfson said during a March 19 appearance on SKOR North’s “Mackey and Judd” podcast, adding that the Vikings would have to give up draft capital and sign Sneed to an extension that rivals the top corners in the league.

“The Chiefs are looking for a pretty decent draft pick, you’re not getting him for a sixth or seventh (round pick). Now, maybe in the end you do, but right now you’re not,” Wolfson said. “And you need to give him a monster, monster contract. So, there’s a lot of hurdles there, but I’m just telling you, bottom line, L’Jarius Sneed would love to play for the Vikings.”

A 2020 fourth-round pick, Sneed has been an impact player from the moment he arrived in Kansas City.

He’s started in 54 career games and secured 10 interceptions and 40 passes defensed and played in every Chiefs playoff game the past four seasons, including two Super Bowl victories.

Last season, Sneed held opposing quarterbacks to a 66.0 passer rating, the sixth-best rating among NFL corners last season, per Pro Football Focus.

L’Jarius Sneed’s Uncertain Future With Chiefs, Ideal Fit for Vikings

GettyKansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

Over the weekend, Sneed’s contract demands were claimed to have gotten in the way of getting a trade done with the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts.

Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame reported on a Chiefs radio show that Sneed is “sticking to” his asking price of $22 million a year to become the highest-paid cornerback in the league.

However, that’s a notion Sneed has rebuked.

“On my way to work out & the lies I see,” Sneed wrote in a since-deleted post on X (formerly Twitter) responding to Verderame’s report.

Sneed’s fit with the Vikings and Flores’ reputation could be reason for Sneed to put truth to his words and come down from that price. He would be an ideal fit for Flores, who toutes his desire for versatile players on defense.

Deemed the Chiefs’ defensive chess piece at cornerback, Sneed can play both outside and in the slot and is an aggressive blitzer. His 6.5 career sacks since entering the league as a fourth-round pick in 2020 are the most by any cornerback in the past four seasons — not to be overlooked by his cover skills.

Vikings Could Land Sneed for Middle-Round Draft Pick

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

GettyGeneral manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings.

While the Vikings do not have second- or third-round picks in this year’s draft after landing the No. 23 overall pick in a trade with the Houston Texans, they may not need to spend valuable draft capital considering Sneed needs a new contract as well.

Carrington Harrison of 610 Sports Radio reported on March 18 that no team has offered the Chiefs a second-round pick for Sneed.

Harrison said that the Chiefs are “fine” with Sneed staying in Kansas City and playing on the $19.8 million franchise tag for the 2024 season, but they are cap-constrained by the deal at a position where they already have All-Pro Trent McDuffie on a rookie deal.

A second-round pick seems to be the price to get a deal done overnight, but the Vikings can wait out the situation and perhaps offer a third- or fourth-rounder.

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