The Kansas City Chiefs solidified their place in NFL history as one of the great dynasties on Sunday evening in Las Vegas, taking down the favored San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 2024. They have now won three out of the last five championships after many counted them out during the regular season, and Patrick Mahomes is still the best quarterback in the league, MVP honors or not.
But how long can the band stay together? They dealt with contract negotiations with big name players last season, and there have been whispers about potential retirement thoughts coming from their coach and star tight end.
3 Key Chiefs Players Set To Become NFL Free Agents In 2024
Chiefs’ key free agents this off-season: DT Chris Jones, CB L’Jarius Sneed, DE Mike Danna, LB Willie Gay Jr., OT Donovan Smith, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB Jerick McKinnon, LB Drue Tranquill, S Mike Edwards, DT Derrick Nnadi, DT Tershawn Wharton, P Tommy Townsend, WR Mecole…
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 12, 2024
Regardless of what Andy Reid and Travis Kelce decide to do, there will be plenty of work for the front office to do. While Mahomes is safe until the next decade, some of the biggest contributors to the team’s Super Bowl run have expiring contracts, and are set to become NFL free agents this coming spring.
Here are three key players for the Chiefs who may not be back in 2024:
Chris Jones – DT
Jones was a free agent last year as well, and had a highly-publicized hold out that lasted into the second week of the regular season. He wound up signing a one-year deal, and will again hit the open market this spring, and has another productive season under his belt.
He was once again the anchor of Kansas City’s 2nd ranked defense, notching 10.5 sacks on the way to his second-straight First Team All-Pro selection. He will be 30 years old at the start of next season, and it is unclear whether the Chiefs intend to make bringing him back a priority. Given their stance from last off-season, it is likely that they are unwilling to give him a long-term deal.
L’Jaruis Sneed – CB
Sneed has been perhaps the best bargain on the team. He has been the team’s starting quarterback for the past three seasons, and had his best in 2023. He was the team’s feature corner, and more often than not was tasked with covering the opposing team’s top wide receiver. Sneed played a big part in helping the Chiefs get to the Super Bowl, making key plays in the AFC Championship Game against the Ravens.
He was on the final year of his rookie contract, and made just $2.7 million, which was actually a steep hike from the $895,000 he took home in 2022. Given his age, Kansas City would be wise to entertain giving him the money that he desires, especially if they let Jones walk.
Drue Tranquill – LB
Tranquill signed a one-year deal before the start of the 2023 season, and started 8 of the 17 games at linebacker for Kansas City. He finished the year with 4.5 sacks, and was tied for the 3rd most tackles on the team with Sneed. He notched just two tackles in the Super Bowl, but had 19 combined during the three playoff games for Kansas City.
Aside from their running backs, the linebackers are the least expensive unit on the Chiefs’ roster. They may allocate some extra money to spend on the position during the off-season, which could mean that they’d be open to contract negotiations with Tranquill.