Extending players beyond their rookie deal is a great honor in the NFL and something players can’t always count on from the team that drafted them. Whether it be injuries, poor performance, or new rookies, teams often cut bait before a player sees their second contract. This should not be the case for L’Jarius Sneed.
The overwhelming number one player in the Chiefs secondary, Sneed is set up for a big payday. Coming off a rookie contract of 4 years at $3,929,320, Sneed has outperformed his current salary. A 4th-round pick in 2020, Sneed made All-Rookie his first season and was a part of last year's Super Bowl team.
While his personal accolades have yet to materialize, Sneed has established himself as a leader of a new generation of Chiefs' defense. From his cornerback position, Steve Spagnuolo utilizes Sneed in a variety of packages and down-and-distance situations. This strategy has paid off, with Sneed finishing second in tackles behind Nick Bolton in 2022.
What should L'Jarius Sneed expect if the Chiefs made a contract offer?
Opposing offenses are unable to gameplan for Sneed on a week-to-week basis because his assignment is constantly changing. This makes Sneed an invaluable addition to this Chiefs team as he is an effective blitzer and run defender along with a quality pass defender in the slot and on the boundary.
Due to his ‘jack-of-all-trades’ playing style, it’s difficult to truly assess Sneed’s value to the Chiefs when it comes to dollars and cents. However, the average contract for a top-10 player at the cornerback position is 4.6 years, $78,510,300 with a signing bonus of $15,202,500, while top-50 players on average sign for 3.56 years, $37,241,994 with a signing bonus $9,588,842.
While Sneed isn’t quite up there with the likes of Jaire Alexander at four years, $84 million, he is one of the best corners in the league and should be paid as such. Comparable contracts for Sneed are anywhere from Adoree Jackson’s contract (three years, $39 million), or Tre’Davious White’s (four years, $69 million).
Sneed should expect something in the four-year, $40-50 million dollar range given the Chiefs' current cap situation. Of course, this is dependent on contract extensions/restructuring for the likes of Chris Jones or Patrick Mahomes in order to free up the necessary money.