L'Jarius Sneed contract details, grade: Chiefs fans wondering what if

L'Jarius Sneed signed a contract that the Kansas City Chiefs probably could have afforded with the Tennessee Titans.

Kansas City Chiefs v Tennessee Titans
Kansas City Chiefs v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The Chiefs traded cornerback L'Jarius Sneed to the Tennessee Titans for draft capital last week. Sneed, a key member of the Chiefs secondary last season, won two Super Bowls with the franchise.

Yet, Sneed did not want to play on the franchise tag. This led to Sneed's eventual departure, and now a long-term deal that is surprisingly affordable for the Titans.

Sneed's contract demands had been a deal which paid him upwards of $20 million per season. However, the real killer for the Chiefs, Titans or any interested party was the guaranteed money. This is where Sneed took a smaller cut, and perhaps why Tennessee was fine signing him to a four-year deal into his early 30's.

L'Jarius Sneed contract details with Titans

Per Ian Rapoport, the Titans have signed Sneed to a four-year deal worth $76.4 million. The overall money on that contract is less than the $20 million per season the Chiefs were expecting. Sneed's contract includes a $20 million signing bonus, which cuts down on the overall cap hit, and $55 million guaranteed.

Still, letting another team pay Sneed allows the Chiefs to use that capital elsewhere. It also helps that Kansas City has a suitable replacement on the roster in Trent McDuffie.

L'Jarius Sneed contract grade

The Sneed contract is a big risk for the Titans, as they have an unproven quarterback in Will Levis, who is backed up by Mason Rudolph. The Titans must believe in Levis or they wouldn't be investing this much money in other positions. While Levis showed some promise coming out of Kentucky and in his first few games as a pro, he has yet to play a full season under center.

If for some reason it turns out Levis isn't the answer, Tennessee will struggle to compete with the likes of the Jaguars and Colts in the AFC South, let alone the rest of the conference.

Still, Sneed is a productive player and a CB1. The Titans did well by not paying him into his mid-30's. A four-year deal is fair, especially with a large portion of it paid at signing.

Titans contract grade: B-