Chiefs to franchise tag cornerback L’Jarius Sneed: reports

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — On the heels of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his teammates returning to Las Vegas to celebrate their Super Bowl success, the Kansas City Chiefs front office is working hard to figure out how to construct a roster capable of a three-peat.

Reports say the team’s latest move Tuesday is to use their franchise tag on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

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On Tuesday, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spoke at the NFL Combine about their priciest free agents this offseason. Defensive tackle Chris Jones and Sneed are coming off seasons that demand a high dollar.

“The more you win, the more you’ve got to pay players, and when you have success, you’re paying a lot of players a lot of money, and then it’s equally as tough because you’re drafting late,” Veach said.

The Chiefs once again will have the final first-round draft pick and the last pick of each of the first four rounds.

Veach has a history of finding gems late in drafts. Bringing back assets like Jones and Sneed would allow Kansas City to fill other positional needs in the upcoming draft and free agency.

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Veach mentioned Tuesday that he plans to use the franchise tag on one of the two players.

Since Jones’ franchise tag would cost over $30 million, Sneed would be the more likely option with his tag at around $19 million.

After Veach’s media availability, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Chiefs will use the tag on their number 1 cornerback and will also make a trade happen if the two sides can’t reach a long-term deal.

Fowler also reported that Sneed is open to the scenario, and the Louisiana Tech product has a chance to speak with other teams while facilitating a deal with the Chiefs.

“We do have one tag and I anticipate probably using it to help us, but I think our goal is to get both those players done,” Veach said.

If Kansas City franchise tagged Sneed, Jones and the Chiefs would have to agree on a deal to bring back the dominant defensive lineman. Veach seemed confident on Tuesday that they’d get something done.

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“He’s at the top of the list,” Veach insisted. “Both parties I think want to be here. And so, we’ll get to work. It’s certainly a guy we love and want to finish (his career) here in Kansas City.”

The added $30 million in salary cap for each NFL franchise could be a key factor in getting both star defenders back with the Chiefs for at least another year.

If Sneed is traded, the Chiefs have two cornerbacks coming into their third season with Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson, who have both produced in both of their first two seasons.

Williams is the same archetype as Sneed listed at 6’3, 193 pounds although not quite as physical as the veteran corner but similar athletic traits.

Williams and Watson would go well with the Chiefs’ other top cornerback Trent McDuffie who was named a First Team All-Pro this past season.

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