NFL Rumors: 3 Chiefs rivals who could steal L'Jarius Sneed and hurt three-peat chances

The Kansas City Chiefs hope to keep L'Jarius Sneed around, but the odds of that aren't as high as fans might like. These 3 rivals could take advantage.

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed is expected to earn upwards of $65 million on the free-agent market. That's too much for Brett Veach's liking, especially if he is to rework Patrick Mahomes contract and sign Chris Jones to an extension in the next few months.

Sneed is an important piece for Kansas City, but he's also replaceable. The Chiefs have taken plenty of secondary players in the last several NFL Drafts in preparation for this moment, including Trent McDuffie in 2022. McDuffie was selected with the pick Kansas City acquired in the Tyreek Hill trade. If Veach does in fact let Sneed walk, McDuffie is the ideal heir apparent.

Dan Graziano of ESPN reported that the Chiefs are prepared to let Sneed walk if they must:

“Sneed is one of the league’s top corners and a key part of the Chiefs’ defense (nine pass breakups last season and 10 career interceptions), so he wouldn’t be easy to replace,” Graziano wrote. “But the Chiefs have drafted four cornerbacks in the past two drafts, including 2022 first-rounder Trent Mcduffie, who appears more than ready to take over as the No. 1 corner if Sneed leaves."

McDuffie is locked into his rookie contract and will make just over $13 million next year. That's far more affordable than Sneed, who would need a long-term deal of his own. Unfortunately for the Chiefs, several other contenders -- and in some cases rivals -- are in need of secondary help this offseason.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers connected to L'Jarius Sneed

The Steelers will either sign or draft a top corner to pair with Joey Porter Jr. this offseason. Porter Jr. was a revelation for Pittsburgh last season, as the son of the Steelers alumni was one of the best defensive rookies in the entire NFL. The Penn State product projects to be a shutdown corner of his own, but he doesn't have much protection on the other side of the field, so opposing quarterbacks can throw away from him.

Patrick Peterson is no longer the player he once was, and that's who Pittsburgh had starting across the field from JPJ. Levi Wallace, another free agent, was often the slot option. Both players are over the hill, while Sneed remains in his prime and is playing at an All-Pro level. Pairing Sneed with JPJ -- along with Minkah Fitzpatrick at safety -- would give the Steelers one of the best secondary groups in football.

Sneed would cost a lot of money and would limit the Steelers ability to address other roster needs, like quarterback. If we've learned anything about Mike Tomlin by now, it's that he prefers a high-priced defense to an expensive quarterback anyway.