KC Chiefs make it official, apply franchise tag to top conerback L'Jarius Sneed

Blair Kerkhoff, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Football

As expected, the Chiefs have placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on cornerback L’Jaruis Sneed.

The Chiefs announced the move Monday afternoon, a day before the NFL’s franchise tag deadline. Sneed will be offered $19.802 million, the amount established for cornerbacks.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine that tagging the physical defensive back was the likely outcome as the team looked for ways to keep both Sneed and defensive tackle Chris Jones.

They are cornerstones of the defense that helped the Chiefs win a second straight Super Bowl with a victory over the San Francisco 49ers last month.

“Certainly want to do what we can to keep both of those players,” Veach said last week. “That’s gonna be our goal and intent.”

The 27-year-old Sneed can still speak with other teams about a potential trade, and the Chiefs have tagged and traded a player in recent years: Outside linebacker Dee Ford was tagged after the 2018 season and then dealt to the 49ers in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick, which the Chiefs used to select linebacker Willie Gay.


Sneed, a fourth-round selection in 2020, has thrived in Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. In 54 regular-season games, Sneed has 10 career interceptions and 40 passes defended, often while assigned to cover the opposing team’s top wide receiver.

He owns two Super Bowl rings and has started in all 13 of the Chiefs’ playoff games over the past four years.

Sneed was a major part of perhaps the Chiefs’ biggest play in this year’s postseason. His tackle in the AFC Championship Game jarred the ball loose from Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers as he was approaching the goal line.

Teammate Trent McDuffie fell on the fumble to complete the touchdown-saving play as the Chiefs beat the Ravens and qualified for the Super Bowl.

Sneed’s ranked sixth overall — and rates as the best available cornerback — on’s list of the league’s top 101 free agents.

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