Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed sit at the top of Brett Veach’s offseason priority list.
The Kansas City Chiefs general manager said that the veteran defensive tackle and cornerback are “two keystone players” to the Chiefs’ success. Even though Veach isn’t sure how the team is going to get it done when Super Bowl LVIII is over, that’s where his attention will shift.
“Sometimes I look at our situation and I’m like, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to do this,’ but we usually work through things systematically and have a list of the priorities,” Veach said via ESPN.
“Certainly, Chris and LJ are at the top of the list. It’s extremely hard because you have two keystone players there.”
They were both major contributors to a revamped defense that allowed a grand total of 41 points to the high-powered offenses of the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs.
Sneed could regularly be found matched up with opponents’ best receivers and made them non-factors Sunday after Sunday this season. The 27-year-old finished the year with a career-high 14 passes defended, along with 78 tackles and two interceptions in 16 games.
“Going from where we were in ’17 and ’18 to having one of the best defenses, knowing the constraints we had of just paying [Patrick Mahomes] and probably drafting later [in rounds], I don’t think I ever envisioned having a top one or two defense,” Veach said.
Jones held out for a new contract during the offseason, which resulted in him missing both training camp and the season opener. After losing to the Detroit Lions in that openers, with Jones watching from a suite, Kansas City responded by offering him an incentive-laden one-year deal in September.
By recording at least 10 sacks in 2023, he earned a $1.25 million bonus, which he achieved on Jan. 7 against the Los Angeles Chargers in the season finale. His 10.5 sacks were a tie for the team lead.
“It was important for us to mend the fences with Chris, because we love him and he’s an iconic player here — not just here, but I mean of all time,” Veach said. “That was important for us, and we’ll continue to work hard and see if we can get something done, but it will be a priority for us.”