Falcons reportedly interested in trading for L’Jarius Sneed

NFL: JAN 13 AFC Wild Card Dolphins at Chiefs

The quarterback conversation is going to take up all of the headlines surrounding the Falcons until a decision is made. It’s the single most important facet of the offseason and will likely determine if Atlanta will return to the postseason for the first time since 2017. However, it’s far from the only need on the roster.

The Falcons have to add multiple edge defenders. It’s been a problem in Atlanta for over a decade, and until they address it properly, they’ll never have a top 10 defense. After that, I would argue that cornerback is the team’s biggest need, outside of wide receiver.

Jeff Okudah is set to test free agency and suffered from the same issues last year that have plagued his entire career, injuries and consistency. Clark Phillips showed some chops as a rookie when thrust into action and could potentially start across from A.J. Terrell next year. But after those two, there are not a lot of promising options on the roster, and two corners is not nearly enough in today’s NFL.

One name that has been mentioned multiple times by Tony Pauline ahead of free agency is L’Jarius Sneed. 

“Teams will be lining up to speak about L’Jarius Sneed this week, and some squads hope to bring the cornerback in for a visit once the tampering period begins,” Pauline writes. “The Atlanta Falcons still seem hot on the trail for Sneed, as I initially reported two weeks ago.”

Unfortunately, for those teams hoping to land Sneed as a free agent, that’s no longer possible, as the Chiefs have decided to place the franchise tag on him. However, that doesn’t mean he’s totally out of the picture for the Falcons. Kansas City has given him permission to seek a trade if they cannot work out a long-term deal.

It doesn’t look like Sneed will play for the Chiefs next year on the franchise tag. I’m sure both sides would like to get a deal done, but Kansas City has many things to take care of this offseason, including a mega-deal for star pass rusher Chris Jones.

If they can’t come to an agreement with Sneed, Tony Pauline doubled down on the Falcons’ interest in the cornerback, saying they are one of the teams interested in trading for him.

“The overwhelming feeling is the Chiefs expect to be playing without Sneed in 2024 and rather than lose him in free agency and then receive a compensation pick in the 2025 NFL Draft, they’ll try and get a better pick in return this April,” Pauline writes. 

“As of Wednesday morning word was the Atlanta Falcons, a team that was hot on Sneed’s trail if he hit free agency, are one franchise interested in potentially trading for the cornerback.”

That potential interest could hinge on how the Falcons address the quarterback position. It’s no secret Atlanta is hoping to hand A.J. Terrell a lucrative contract extension this offseason, making him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league. If they also sign one of the top quarterbacks on the market, it’s difficult to imagine them paying two cornerbacks top dollar.

But in a scenario where the Falcons land one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, they’ll have gobs of money to spend on free agents. That’s the luxury of having a quarterback on a rookie contract, which is why it is expected that Terry Fontenot will be aggressively attempting to move up ahead of the draft.

Photographer: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

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