NFL Rumors: Chiefs show one defensive star the door instead of his money

The Kansas City Chiefs may just let L'Jarius Sneed walk, leaving Trent McDuffie as the team's lone shutdown corner.

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed had a simple message for the team when asked about his future in KC: "Pay me."

Rather than give into that demand, it seems the Chiefs and Brett Veach are fine letting Sneed walk, per Dan Graziano of ESPN. Per Graziano, the Chiefs have “been preparing for [Sneed’s] potential exit for the past couple of years.”

Kansas City drafted cornerback Trent McDuffie in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. McDuffie is still on his rookie contract, which makes letting Sneed walk a much easier decision than it otherwise would have been. Graziano wrote this and more in a recent article on ESPN:

"“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."

Chiefs can let L'Jarius Sneed walk to extend Chris Jones

When one door closes, another opens. The Chiefs picked up Chris Jones option which gives them the right to franchise tag him again should they choose. Doing so would cost over $30 million, however, so an extension is far more likely.

By letting Sneed walk, the Chiefs have more money to spend on Jones contract. Spotrac projects that Sneed will receive a four-year, $65 million contract on the free agent market. There's no way the Chiefs could've signed Sneed and Jones to multiyear deals based on their current salary cap situation.

The items on the Chiefs to-do list are simple right now. Extend Patrick Mahomes and bring down his cap hit. Extend Jones. Then add in search of the NFL's first ever three-peat.

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