There was a point when the idea of bringing back Charvarius Ward wasn’t such a positive thought. That had very little to do with Ward as a player. Instead, the Chiefs looked a lot more set at the position for the next year or more given the depth and youth at the position. While some of that is still present, Ward is a big part of that in the present and the position would look like a major area of need if the Chiefs were to let Ward walk.
Before the season began, the Chiefs had just imported Mike Hughes from the Minnesota Vikings to go with Deandre Baker as former first-round picks hoping to turn things around with a Super Bowl contender. Hughes is a rarely-used defensive option who has found his greatest value as a returner, while Baker is a healthy scratch most weeks. Instead of turning into a heavenly gift of a signing, Baker has been a shocking non-asset for the Chiefs, which means a cost-controlled young corner ended up not working out after all.
That’s what makes Ward’s looming free agency a bit more complicated for the Chiefs. With L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton in the fold for at least another year (Sneed has two more years left on his deal after his one), the Chiefs have two starting-caliber corners, but every NFL team needs at least three and that’s if teams can stay quite healthy. The Chiefs will, no doubt, dive into the free agent market, but if they lose Ward, they’re going to need two more solid players to get through a regular season.
Who would they find in free agent that would fit better than Ward? Ward is still only 25 and should have several seasons left in him. He’s already familiar with Spags’ defense and this locker room and would a reliable starting option in the secondary for as long as he’d sign. While Ward hasn’t necessarily shown himself to be a ballhawk by any means, he’s a physical corner who’s solid against the run and sticky in coverage. There’s a reason he’s started for multiple Super Bowl rosters and the Chiefs would do well to bring him back—especially now that other options have fallen through.