Predicting which 2024 Chiefs free agents will stay or go

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) celebrates
Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) celebrates / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Drue Tranquill, Linebacker

Among all the players listed, Drue Tranquill stood out as one of the most challenging to forecast.

Should Tranquill have an outstanding season, it's probable that he'll attract significant interest from other teams, potentially leading him to sign a lucrative contract elsewhere. Conversely, a subpar campaign might prompt him to explore better opportunities outside of Kansas City.

Making a definitive call in this case is difficult, but at this moment, I lean towards him staying with the Chiefs. Notably, Nick Bolton and Leo Chenal are the only established linebackers currently under contract for Kansas City in 2024, which could influence the decision to retain Tranquill. However, circumstances can evolve rapidly in the NFL, so this assessment may change relatively quickly.

Verdict: Staying

L'Jarius Sneed, Cornerback

One aspect that has become evident during Brett Veach's tenure as GM of the Chiefs is his reluctance to invest heavily (financially) in cornerbacks. This trend was evident in the case of Charvarius Ward in 2022, despite the team making efforts to retain him.

The fate of L'Jarius Sneed hinges heavily on the performances of younger cornerbacks such as Trent McDuffie, Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson, and Nic Jones during the 2023 season. Should these emerging players excel, the team might feel more at ease letting Sneed explore other options. Conversely, if the young players struggle, it could push the Chiefs to take a more decisive stance in contract negotiations.

Regrettably, considering the current circumstances, I am inclined to believe that L'Jarius Sneed will be suiting up for another team in 2024. The situation, however, remains fluid and subject to change as the 2023 season unfolds.

Verdict: Going

Donovan Smith, Offensive Tackle

Donovan Smith was one of the easiest calls on this list.

His signing in April was already seen as a one-year solution for the Chiefs at left tackle, allowing time for Wanya Morris and/or Lucas Niang to progress and develop.

Unless Smith delivers an exceptionally stellar performance in 2023, it's highly probable that, considering his age being on the wrong side of 30, this will indeed be his sole season in Kansas City.

Verdict: Going