Charvarius Ward has made himself a lot of money in 2021

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

The K.C. Chiefs have turned around their season thanks largely to the dramatic improvement of their defense. Since getting crushed by the Tennessee Titans in Week 7, the Chiefs have allowed about 11 points per game, which has allowed them to string together wins despite an inconsistent offense.

One key aspect of this defensive improvement is the play of cornerback Charvarius Ward, who is quietly putting together a stellar season. Ward is allowing a career-best 46.3% completion percentage when targeted (4th among all defensive players in the NFL), a career-best 6.3 yards allowed per target, and a 73.0 passer rating when targeted (best amongst all Chiefs corners)

While Ward’s play has helped turn the Chiefs’ season around, it also poses a question for the Chiefs’ front office. Ward will be a free agent this offseason. The 25-year-old, already with a robust resume of good play, coming off a season that may be his best, will garner much interest from other NFL teams. So, the question is: will the Chiefs prioritize signing Ward?

Charvarius Ward is going to be very rich by next spring as he hits free agency.

Keep in mind that the NFL recently announced a $26 million dollar increase to the salary cap ceiling. While this increase doesn’t necessarily mean that the salary cap will increase by $26 million in 2022, it’s a strong indicator that the league expects an uptick in post-COVID ticket sales and revenue from media deals, which may indicate an increase in the salary cap in the near future.

With that said, there’s a good chance that cornerback-hungry teams, bullish off the cap projections, will be willing and able to offer Ward a competitive deal. Even last offseason, wherein cap projections were more bearish, we saw a few cornerbacks of similar age and production to Ward receive long-term deals. Here are a few:

Each of these corners inked their deal at age 26 or younger. If Ward continues to play at his 2021 level, I imagine he demands comparable money to these three players. If we factor in a more expansive salary cap, it’s easy to envisage Ward earning somewhere around 3 years, $30 million dollars. Ward’s playoff experience along with the pedigree that goes along with being a staple on a championship team will surely be something that interests suitors.

While much attention centers on extending Tyrann Mathieu and Tyreek Hill, Charvarius Ward has been a pivotal part of the Chiefs’ 2021 turnaround. He’s not just a flash-in-than-pan, though. Ward has put together four solid seasons at one of the more volatile NFL positions. The simple truth is that someone will open the checkbook for Ward this offseason. If the Chiefs value Ward’s contributions over the last three years, they hopefully will see to it that Ward becomes a long-term member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

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