Lions ‘Have Inquired’ About High-Profiled CB, Face Stiff Competition: Report

There continues to be smoke around the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

Lions 'Have Inquired' About Chiefs CB L'Jarius Sneed: Report

USA Today’s Tyler Dragon reported that the Lions “have inquired” about Sneed since the cornerback received permission to seek a trade. The Chiefs gave him that permission after they placed the franchise tag on him.

“Both sides have until mid-July to finalize a long-term extension or until the NFL’s trade deadline to part ways via trade,” wrote Dragon.

“Sneed is one of the best zone cover corners in the NFL. According to Next Gen Stats, Sneed allowed no touchdowns and a league-low four yards per target while in zone coverage in 2023.”

The Lions, though, are one of seven teams who have expressed interest in trading for Sneed.

Dragon reported that in addition to the Lions, the Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars have inquired about Sneed.

Although technically not a free agent, Pro Football Focus ranked Sneed the No. 10 potential free agent set to be available this offseason. During the 2023 season, he posted 78 combined tackles, including 5 tackles for loss with 14 pass defenses and 2 interceptions in 16 games.

Sneed has also won two Super Bowls as a starter with the Chiefs.

How CB L’Jarius Sneed Could Fit With the Lions

Sneed has been one of the most popular free agents connected to Detroit early this offseason. Rumors that the Lions could acquire Sneed have also grown with free agency approaching.

In the two days prior to Dragon’s report, both ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler called the Lions a potential landing spot for Sneed, and 97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti strongly argued in favor of Detroit acquiring the 2-time Super Bowl winning cornerback.

“Don’t play this game with me, that we are somehow poor or if we paid L’Jarius Sneed we can not function or there wouldn’t be money for Aidan [Hutchinson], or what about Amon-Ra [St. Brown],” Valenti said on March 4. “You’re in a beautiful cap situation. So I want you to remind me again, here, talk into my good ear.

“Tell me why I shouldn’t want the Lions to pick up the phone, offer pick 61 and offer five (years) at $95 (million total) for L’Jarius Sneed. Tell me why.”

According to Spotrac, the Lions have the sixth-most salary cap space with about $54.3 million to spend. Detroit also possesses four picks in the top 100 of the 2024 draft.

That should put the Lions in prime position for Sneed or another impactful cornerback or defensive addition this offseason.

Detroit could use an upgrade to help its pass defense. The Lions finished 27th in passing yards allowed and 29th in net passing yards yielded per attempt last season. They were also 23rd in sacks.

How Steep Will the Price Be for Sneed?

Sneed to the Lions appears to be growing steam, but as Dragon reported, nearly a quarter of the league is interested.

There’s also no guarantee that he is traded at all. The Chiefs tagged Sneed with the hope of still being able to agree to a long-term deal.

If he is available, though, it will be expensive to outbid Sneed’s other suitors. Multiple sources have reported the asking price for Sneed will be at least a second-round pick.

With that starting as the asking price, it’s likely to go up with so many teams interested.

Should Sneed play the 2024 season on the franchise tag, he will have a $19.8 million cap hit. But any team that acquires him will do so with the intention of signing him to a long-term extension.

Spotrac projected Sneed’s market value to be $65.3 million on a 4-year contract. That would give the cornerback an average annual salary of $16.3 million.

While expensive, acquiring Sneed appears to be one of the best ways the Lions can guarantee to upgrade their cornerback room for 2024.

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