A Superstar Defender Evidently Wants to Play for the Vikings

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The path to get him to Minnesota isn’t very clear, but Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed evidently wouldn’t mind making the Vikings his next NFL stop.

A Superstar Defender Evidently Wants to Play for the Vikings

That’s the word from KSTP’s Darren Wolfson regarding the superstar defender, who could be traded before or during the 2024 NFL Draft. Sneed was scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, but Kansas City applied the franchise tag and could seek to trade the young cornerback.

Superstar Defender
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Wolfson explained Sneed’s apparent desire to play for Brian Flores on SKOR North’s Mackey and Judd Show, “There hasn’t been any movement on L’Jarius Sneed, but I’m told, all things relatively equal, he wants to play for Brian Flores. Like L’Jarius Sneed, the Chiefs cornerback, would love to be here.”

Sneed hasn’t registered Pro Bowl or All-Pro kudos yet but probably should have in 2023. He fired up an incredible 56.2 passer-rating-against last year while his team won the Super Bowl, too. The Chiefs corner was a 4th-Rounder from the 2020 NFL Draft, turned 27 in January, and is considered one of the NFL’s top defensive backs.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) pulls in a catch while pursued by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (38) during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. © Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

“We’re talking about the Vikings, looking at the possibility of moving up, they only have so much draft capital, it’s not the like the Chiefs are giving him away, so the Chiefs are looking for a pretty decent draft pick. Like, you’re not getting him for a sixth or seventh,” Wolfson said Tuesday.

The trade price for Sneed? Probably a 2nd-Rounder and change. However, a late 1st-Rounder could be in play if a bidding war emerges. Whichever team lands Sneed will likely have to pay around $20 million per season. Inconveniently, after Minnesota swung a trade with the Houston Texans last Friday, it has no 2nd-Round picks until 2026.

Fans Already Split
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Wolfson concluded about Sneed and his will to play for the Vikings, “Maybe in the end you do, but right now, you’re not. But hey, you need to give him a monster, monster contract. There’s a lot of hurdles there. But I’m just telling you, you know bottom line, all things equal, L’Jarius Sneed would love to play for the Vikings.”

Interestingly, Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer wrote this week about the Sneed sweepstakes, “the Vikings, Detroit Lions, and Indianapolis Colts were the three teams in early on him. I’d say Detroit is less likely now after the trade for Carlton Davis, but the other two are lingering in the picture, and there’s no real urgency now to get something done.”

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Earlier this month — before the Vikings-Texans deal — USA Today’s Tyler Dragon wrote, “As expected, the Kansas City Chiefs officially placed the franchise tag on cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Sneed still has permission to seek a trade despite the designation. A person with direct knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports that the Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars have expressed interest in the Chiefs corner. The person told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.”

Sneed-to-Vikings is all over the place, even after the trade with Houston, so it must be monitored. If general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah somehow pulled off a trade for Top 4 quarterback prospect in April’s draft while also grabbing Sneed from Kansas City, Minnesota would be cooking with gas.

The NFL Draft is 35 days away, a faux deadline for any Sneed trade.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.