The 2021 secondary and beyond
The Chiefs are in very, very good position in the secondary going forward, especially given the overall value they’re getting for their money.
Right now, even if the Chiefs were to somehow let Charvarius Ward walk as a free agent and relinquish their rights entirely, the team would trot out starters across the bound (outside and in the slot) in L’Jarius Sneed, Deandre Baker, and Rashad Fenton and a special teams savvy player in BoPete Keyes for a mere sum of approximately $4 million total. If Keyes can supply something more than an Antonio Hamilton role in 2021, then the return on their investment is even greater than it already is.
But here’s the thing. If the Chiefs place, say, a second-round tender on Ward this offseason, they will see one of three things happen:
- They’ll receive another team’s second round pick and lose Ward.
- They’ll match whatever offer another team puts up for Ward.
- They’ll re-sign Ward to a one-year deal at $3.2M (that’s if no other team makes Ward an offer).
The second-round tender might turn other teams away from offering Ward a deal but that makes Ward a 1-year, $3.2 million signing for the Chiefs. That’s about what Bashaud Breeland is making this year, and that feels like a worthwhile deal to make. It gives the Chiefs a cheaper short-term offering to keep the secondary young and loaded and gives Sneed, Baker, Fenton, and Keyes another year to grow. Or it provides another top draft pick for Veach to use.
It’s likely that the Chiefs will enter 2021 with Baker, Ward, Fenton, Sneed, and Keyes for a sum total of $6 to 8 million. That’s great value at a position that caused a panic for the last few years and shows how savvy Veach and his staff have been for K.C. in their assessment and acquisitions. Who would have thought this position would be so rich going forward?