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BURNING QUESTION: Was the L'Jarius Sneed Trade Worth It?

In case you didn't already hear, the Chiefs traded L'Jarius Sneed, an All-Pro cornerback who immediately flashed onto the scene after being selected in just the 4th round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Sneed is arguably one of the most underrated corners in the league, his physicality, ball-hawking skills, and overall presence in the pocket of even the best NFL receivers have been borderline unmatched so far in his career. He certainly earned his flowers though, as the Titans signed him to a 4-year, $76 million with $55 million guaranteed contract according to Yahoo Sports's Frank Schwab. However, what the Chiefs got back for Sneed has raised some major questions, so let's talk about it.

The Pros

L'Jarius Sneed was due a payday at some point, it was just a matter of when and from whom. After this season, teams started to take notice of his talents and quickly flocked to the Chiefs asking for trade deals. Sneed got his payday from Tennessee though, paid handsomely to be exact. That is certainly a pro for Sneed, but what of the Chiefs? The Chiefs received a 2025 3rd-round pick while swapping 7th-round picks with the Titans. This moves the Chiefs up on Day 3 of the Draft and will allow them to work the late round better, such as Brett Veach's specialty is. Veach has also been known to draft well at the defensive back position, so perhaps the Chiefs are banking on that. The Chiefs also get rid of the headache of another potential contract dispute for at least another year with this move, as once again, Sneed was likely due a handsome sum. A sum the Chiefs may not have been able to afford, though this contract probably could have been doable. This being said, the Chiefs save cap space and could go out and get marquee talent over these next few months with the money they saved. That remains to be seen, but could very well happen. Mind you also, the Chiefs are going into 2025 needing to pay some pretty key players in Nick Bolton, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, and others, so perhaps this move is also in preparation for that as well.

The Cons

There are definitely some key issues to be had with this trade though, starting with what the Chiefs got back for Sneed. A 2025 3rd and swapping 2024 7th-round picks isn't exactly ideal, as the Chiefs' asking price for Sneed was a 2nd-round pick at least. The Chiefs probably could have gotten more, but perhaps teams weren't able to budge for the reigning, defending Super Bowl Champs. That simply remains unlikely though, as an AFC team traded with them when there were talks of the Eagles and Falcons pursuing Sneed. Did these talks actually happen, and could you have gotten more from an NFC team? Not only did the trade value seem a bit meek, but, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, the price Sneed was signed for was likely doable for the Chiefs. The Chiefs currently have around $25 million in cap space currently with the release of Sneed. $76 million divided by 4 is $19 million, essentially Sneed's cap number in 2024. Sneed didn't really get much of a pay raise, just more guaranteed money and incentives. A move for Sneed like this would not have put the Chiefs in much danger cap-wise, and they have the ability to restructure for 2025. I feel like this simply just saves the headache of having to do that math due to the Chiefs' front office being fatigued from the Chris Jones situation...I'm not sure though. It just feels like that, especially given the comments of some of the front office members as of recently. Maybe I'm wrong though.


Obviously, we're not GMs, therefore the art of being one can be lost on us in some cases. However, this just feels like a lazy, "don't want to deal with it" type of play by Veach and Company. While it may make things easier for 2025, you kind of just let your star cornerback walk for a price you absolutely could have given him and still have been okay. You may indeed find your next great cornerback in this upcoming draft, on paper it's not a very strong draft for corners, but then again there may be some diamond in the rough types much like Sneed. Do you take that risk though, knowing that you did just let your best corner walk? Time will tell, as of now, it seems like a move that has drummed up controversy. At least you signed back Chris Jones though, right?

Burn Notice: 7/10 Simmering Sneed

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