Vikings Missed Out on Superstar Trade Sweepstakes

The Minnesota Vikings made a strong addition to their secondary this week when they signed CB Shaquill Griffin.

However, rumors suggested that they may not have been done there. Reports suggested that the Vikings could be on the receiving end of a superstar trade involving Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed. Unfortunately, though, those sweepstakes are now over, and the Vikings missed out on landing the star CB.

Vikings Missed Out on Superstar Trade

Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (38) is introduced against the Las Vegas Raiders prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of Minnesota, Sneed is headed to Tennessee and joining the Titans in 2024. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news, tweeting, “Trade: Chiefs are finalizing a deal to send franchise CB L’Jarius [Sneed] to the Titans, per league sources. Chiefs are expected to receive a 2025 3rd-round pick, in addition to a 2024 7th-round pick flop, while Snead will sign a new contract. Trade is pending physical for Sneed.”

The 27-year-old cornerback was a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and has spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl in each of the past two years. In total, Sneed has recorded 303 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 40 passes defended, 10 interceptions, and four forced fumbles over 57 regular season games.

On the surface, it may seem like the Titans got Sneed for a very cheap price. However, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding this trade. First and foremost, Sneed is currently carrying a $19.8 million cap hit for the 2024 season, meaning the Vikings would have needed to free up a decent chunk of salary cap space just to place him on the roster this season.

Superstar Trade
Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Latavius Murray (28) rushes the ball against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (38)in the first half of the 2024 AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, Sneed is once again set to hit free agency in 2025 unless a long-term contract is worked out, which inevitably would be very expensive. Seeing as the Vikings also have to figure out contracts for WR Justin Jefferson and LT Christian Darrisaw, Minnesota’s cap space in coming years could dwindle quickly if they pay a cornerback top dollar as he hits his late-20s.

Minnesota’s cornerback group certainly struggled down the stretch of the 2023 season with both Mekhi Blackmon and Byron Murphy dealing with injuries, but the Vikings also have plenty of young talent who could potentially take on larger roles in 2024 along with the Griffin addition.

Blackmon played very well prior to his injury, particularly during Minnesota’s Week 8 victory over the Green Bay Packers in which he was targeted four times and allowed zero receptions. Over the course of the season, the rookie was targeted 52 times, allowing 32 receptions for 295 yards and two touchdowns while also intercepting a pass in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (5) celebrates his interception against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, Sneed could have been a lockdown CB1 for the Vikings, and he certainly would have been a strong addition for a defense that saw great improvement in 2023. Hopefully, the Vikings’ youth can fill that CB1 void instead.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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