Terry Fontenot Atlanta Falcons General Manager - Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons News

Falcons ‘Have Expressed Interest’ in Projected $65 Million CB

The Atlanta Falcons took a flier on a reclamation project in cornerback Jeff Okudah last offseason. This year, Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot could be seeking to make a much bigger cornerback trade for L’Jarius Sneed.

USA Today’s Tyler Dragon reported on March 5 that the Falcons “have expressed interest” in trading for the Kansas City Chiefs cornerback.

The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Sneed, but Kansas City also gave the cornerback permission to seek a trade.

“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.”

Multiple sources have reported the asking price for Sneed could begin with a second-round pick. But there’s potential for it to be a lot higher because of the demand Sneed has on the trade market.

Dragon reported that the Falcons were one of seven teams that have inquired about the cornerback.

On top of the trade compensation to land Sneed, the cornerback will be expensive to sign. His cap hit will be $19.8 million if he plays the 2024 season on the franchise tag. However, if a team such as the Falcons trades for Sneed, they will do so with every intention of agreeing to a long-term deal.

Spotrac projected Sneed to be worth $65.3 million on a 4-year contract this offseason. Such a contract would pay Sneed an average annual salary of $16.3 million.

In four seasons with the Chiefs, Sneed has posted 40 pass defenses and 10 interceptions. He anchored a Kansas City secondary that helped the Chiefs win back-to-back Super Bowls.

During 2023, Sneed recorded 78 combined tackles, including 5 tackles for loss with 14 pass defenses and 2 interceptions.

The Falcons could use a cornerback upgrade this offseason. Okudah started opposite Atlanta’s top cornerback A.J. Terrell early in 2023, but the Falcons benched Okudah in Week 14. Okudah is also a free agent this offseason.

Atlanta could stay with the cheaper route and select a cornerback in the 2024 draft. However, All Falcons’ Scott Kennedy argued on March 6 that the upcoming draft class isn’t particularly deep at cornerback.

That could push the Falcons to make a big splash in the trade market or free agency. However, it’s worth wondering if the Falcons will be commit to another big contract in the secondary.

Terrell and free safety Jessie Bates III already account for nearly $30 million of Atlanta’s salary cap.