Looking at potential trade partners for L'Jarius Sneed and the Chiefs

Which NFL teams have the elements in play for a potential deal for L'Jarius Sneed?

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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Which NFL teams have the elements in play for a potential deal for L'Jarius Sneed?

The word is out: L'Jarius Sneed is going to be receiving the franchise tag from the Kansas City Chiefs at some point in the near future and the end goal is either a new long-term deal with the team or a trade away from the Chiefs. Either way, the application of the tag gives K.C., some control over their potential losses and now everyone can look forward to the next step.

For our purposes, we hate the idea of losing Sneed, who was absolutely snubbed for an All-Pro mention last year after locking down one top-tier wide receiver after another (after another) throughout the Chiefs' Super Bowl run. The ability to go into a game with Sneed and Trent McDuffie as a top corner tandem brought a lot of freedom to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo up front.

But the hard truth in the NFL is that parity reigns. The system is set up to encourage it. Top teams will lose good or even great players on a regular basis due to the salary cap and other constraints. Thus the Chiefs are even lucky they can use the franchise tag and try to squeeze something out of the scenario from another team if they can't work something out with Sneed themselves.

If the Chiefs and Sneed are too far apart with the numbers for a new contract, which teams make the most sense as a future destination? Here are some likely suspects who would be thrilled to add Sneed to the 2024 rosters.

Detroit Lions

When you think of L'Jarius Sneed's playing style, the words "aggressive" and "physical" come to mind and it's not difficult to picture the Detroit Lions as an ideal destination for Sneed (outside of Kansas City, of course) given the culture established by head coach Dan Campbell.

The Lions are an impressive team on the rise and are fresh off of a conference championship appearance. However, that doesn't mean there aren't sizable needs here and cornerback is perhaps the biggest of all. For a defense like Detroit's with such a hole to fill, the idea of importing Sneed would be a dream-come-true scenario.

The Lions were torched by opposing top-tier wide receivers last year, especially down the stretch. As Tim Twentyman writes over at the Lions' official site: "The final six games of the season the Lions allowed on average 411 passing yards per game and allowed five big individual receiving performances: Justin Jefferson (141 yards, 1 TD), CeeDee Lamb (227, 1 TD), Jefferson (192, 1 TD), Puka Nacua (181, 1 TD), Mike Evans (147, 1 TD)." Yikes!

That's the ideal advertisement for an addition like Sneed, but does the math add up? The Lions have a late first-round pick at No. 29, but would that be too pricey? Could the Chiefs convince the Lions to cough it up knowing they have to come up with a lucrative contract as well? The need is there, but if the Lions don't want to play with a first-rounder, their second-round pick is lower than what the Chiefs would likely get from other teams.

The Lions are in the top 7 teams in terms of cap space ($56 million per Over the Cap), so the money is there. Perhaps it helps to know they also have two third-rounders, so maybe they'd package a couple of picks together or surrender their first knowing they still have Day 2 picks to make. There could be something here if the Lions decide to go all in for a defensive catalyst.