The Kansas City Chiefs have a significant number of potential free agents scheduled to hit the open market by next spring. On the defensive side alone, the sheer amount of talent that could be leaving the team is a bit unnerving, and maybe that's why the Chiefs are reportedly exploring some extension possibilities.
Per ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler, the Chiefs have had some exploratory discussions of a contract extension with L'Jarius Sneed that would keep the cornerback in K.C. for longer than his initial four-year contract.
The Chiefs drafted Sneed in the fourth round in the 2020 NFL Draft as a lengthy, physical, and versatile defensive back from Louisiana Tech. At the time, the Chiefs were thin at cornerback in general and a two-game suspension for Bashaud Breeland didn't help matters. Sneed was thrown into a starting role from his very first game, and by the time Breeland was back, Sneed was the NFL's early leader in interceptions.
The Chiefs and L'Jarius Sneed's reps have explored the idea of a long-term extension, per Jeremy Fowler.
From that point in his rookie season, Sneed has been an underrated yet important performer on the Chiefs—a player seemingly on the verge of making his first Pro Bowl year after year. Now with Trent McDuffie also locked in as a full-time teammate in the secondary, the unit's ceiling is higher than ever and the entire league has taken notice of the team's defensive prowess—and Sneed's importance.
While Sneed has yet to log a sack this year, he's proven capable of blitzing in years past and had 3.5 sacks a year ago. This season, he has 48 total tackles and 1 interception and has cemented his presence outside as an impact pass defender on a dominant unit.
As for official contract talks, Fowler reports that the Chiefs have had "preliminary contract talks" and "would like to keep him." However, he also notes that any further discussions will wait until season's end. Given that the Chiefs are also interested in bringing back Chris Jones (also from Fowler), it's hard to tell how the finances are going to shake out here.
For now, Chiefs Kingdom should appreciate what Sneed brings to the table in myriad ways beyond the box score and know that he might be around for quite some time to set the table for what Steve Spagnuolo wants to do in the secondary.