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Chiefs place non-exclusive franchise tag on CB L’Jarius Sneed

L'Jarius Sneed with football.jpeg
Posted at 2:47 PM, Mar 04, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs announced Monday that they’ve placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

The designation allows Sneed to negotiate a contract with other teams, but the Chiefs have the right to match or exceed any offer. It also could serve as the starting point for trade negoations.

Several reports last week suggested that the club had already informed Sneed it planned to tag him.

The franchise tag for cornerbacks in 2024 is $19.802 million.

By tagging Sneed, the Chiefs now have a little more than four months to work out a long-term deal.

They also could trade him, but Sneed's salary would become fully guaranteed as a none-year deal if he's still with Kansas City and no long-term deal is reached before the July deadline.

The Chiefs drafted Sneed, 27, in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Louisiana Tech. He’s been a workhorse in the Chiefs’ secondary, starting 54 games and emerging as one of the top cover corners in the NFL.

Sneed recorded two interceptions in 2023 during the regular season and didn't allow a touchdown as the nearest defender in coverage. He also contributed 17 tackles during the Chiefs’ postseason run to a Super Bowl LVIII win against the San Francisco 49ers, securing the first NFL repeat in nearly two decades.

The announcement also means Kansas City cannot use its franchise tag on defensive tackle Chris Jones, though that was widely viewed as too expensive of an option for the Chiefs to realistically consider.

Jones now will become a free agent on March 13 and teams can begin negotiating with him as soon as March 11 unless he and the Chiefs agree to a long-term deal before the middle of next week.

With Sneed's $19.8 million on the books, the Chiefs have less than $3.5 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap.

Kansas City could create more room before free agency begins by converting some of quarterback Patrick Mahomes' salary to a signing bonus, which would allow it to be spread over multiple years.

General Manager Brett Veach could use a similar tactic with left guard Joe Thuney's contract or other players, though he's the most likely candidate aside from Mahomes.

KSHB 41 News Reporter Tod Palmer contributed to this report.