What Titans’ L’Jarius Sneed didn’t have with Chiefs that he’s so excited about after trade

L’Jarius Sneed knows iron sharpens iron.

Newly acquired cornerback for the Tennessee Titans L'Jarius Sneed fields questions at his press conference at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park Tuesday morning

The Tennessee Titans aren’t the Kansas City Chiefs. Rookie head coach Brian Callahan isn’t Andy Reid, one of the several greatest coaches of all-time. Sophomore signal-caller Will Levis definitely isn’t Patrick Mahomes, whose first six seasons as a starter have yielded more team and individual success than any quarterback in NFL history. Even the Titans’ group of talented pass-catchers doesn’t quite feature a player like Travis Kelce, arguably the best ever at his position.

As former Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed begins his tenure with Tennessee, though, he’s relishing the opportunity to hone his craft against teammates he never had in Kansas City: A pair of “elite wide receivers.” During a recent appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, the two-time Super Bowl champion explained why facing off with DeAndre Hopkins and Calvin Ridley in practice will help him “get better.”

“To get out there and work with them elite wide receivers, I never had two elite guys like them, going up against them every day,” Sneed said, per Bobby Kownack of NFL.com. “I had great players, but them two guys, household names, they stick out. I can’t wait to get to work with those guys. I know they’re gonna make me better in practice, and I can’t wait to pick both of their brains on how to get better. What they see. What my weakness is from their eyes and not from other guys I’ve been playing with for four years. I want new guys looking from the outside in.”

L’Jarius Sneed’s teammates in Kansas City

The Titans acquired Sneed in late March, ending his stalemate with the Chiefs after his longtime team placed the franchise tag on him early in the offseason. Kansas City always had plans to trade Sneed rather than re-sign him to a lucrative new contract, especially after agreeing to terms with superstar defensive tackle Chris Jones.

Still, the Chiefs were no doubt disappointed to ultimately net a 2025 third-round pick and swap of 2024 seventh-round picks in exchange for a player who was arguably the best cornerback in football last season. As part of the trade, Sneed signed a four-year, $55 million contract with Tennessee that makes him one of the highest-paid cover men in the NFL.

It remains to be seen if Sneed, already 27 and with a history of lingering knee injuries, can take his game to even greater heights with the Titans. But as self-serving as his boast about his new team’s star wide receivers seems on the surface, it also stands up to scrutiny.

Tyreek Hill is the only top-tier wideout Sneed played with during his four seasons in Kansas City. The Chiefs also traded Hill to the Miami Dolphins in the 2022 offseason, revamping their receiving corps around Kelce and a group of role players at wide receiver. Veteran Juju Smith-Schuster and rookie Rashee Rice, respectively, were Kansas City’s most productive wideouts the last two seasons—good enough to help Mahomes and company win back-to-back Super Bowls, but hardly reaching the levels of dynamism Hopkins and Ridley have throughout their careers.

Hopkins, a future Hall-of-Famer, finished last season with 75 catches for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns in his Tennessee debut. Ridley, meanwhile, signed a four-year deal with the Titans in free agency that could be worth up to $92 million after re-establishing himself as a bonafide top target with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tennessee has many questions before emerging as a contender in the AFC. Mike Vrabel and Derrick Henry are gone, ushering in a new era of football in Nashville. The addition of Sneed, obviously, will go a long way toward improving a mediocre defense that ranked in the bottom-half of efficiency last season. Going head-to-head with Hopkins and Sneed in practice, the hope is that Sneed’s iron also sharpens theirs, helping Levis and the Titans’ offense level up toward respectability in 2024.

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