Chiefs 2024 Free Agents: DT Chris Jones, CB L’Jarius Sneed, and RB Jerick McKinnon Among Top Options

Chris Jones will be the Chiefs' highest-profile free agent next offseason, but he's not the only Kansas City player hitting the open market in 2024.

The Kansas City Chiefs added notable pieces like offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor and pass rusher Charles Omenihu during last year’s NFL free agent period, but they also watched left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. sign with the AFC rival Cincinnati Bengals. Who are the Chiefs’ free agents in 2024, and which players is Kansas City likely to retain?

Who Are the Kansas City Chiefs’ Upcoming Free Agents?

DT Chris Jones

Chris Jones is Kansas City’s most high-profile free agent. The Chiefs have the option to franchise tag the 29-year-old, but because it would be the second tag of Jones’ career, he’d be entitled to a 20% raise. A resulting $32 million cap figure will likely dissuade KC from deploying the franchise tender.

Jones is still playing at an elite level and led interior defenders with 91 pressures in 2023. The Chiefs didn’t want to give Jones a contract that approached Aaron Donald’s $31.67 million average annual value, but he should be able to find a deal in that neighborhood on the open market.

CB L’Jarius Sneed

The Chiefs have seemingly already prepared for the eventual loss of cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. General manager Brett Veach added CBs Trent McDuffie (first round), Joshua Williams (fourth round), and Jaylen Watson (seventh round) in the 2022 NFL Draft, and all three have seen extensive playing time.

MORE: Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart

Although Sneed has played almost exclusively on the boundary this season, he’d spent more of his time in the slot heading into 2023. At 6’1″and 192 pounds, he’s a physical presence on the inside who offers value as a blitzer and run defender.

Versatility is the name of the game in the secondary, and Sneed was arguably snubbed from last year’s All-Pro team after not allowing a touchdown until the playoffs. The Chiefs have replacements in hand, but Sneed remains a franchise tag candidate.

OT Donovan Smith

Andy Reid’s squad originally intended for free agent addition Jawaan Taylor to play left tackle after he spent his Jacksonville Jaguars stint on the right side. But Kansas City jumped at the chance to add Donovan Smith on a one-year deal with a base value of just $3 million.

Smith was the NFL’s second-most penalized offensive lineman in 2022 despite missing four games due to injury. He cut back on the fouls in 2023 but continued to struggle with injuries and was sidelined from Weeks 13 through 17.

Only 30 years old, Smith could make sense as a Chiefs extension candidate, especially if the club doesn’t want to try Taylor on Patrick Mahomes’ blindside.

RBs Jerick McKinnon and Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Jerick McKinnon wasn’t nearly the contributor in 2023 that he was for the Chiefs in 2022, managing just 25 receptions and 21 rushing attempts. Entering what will be his age-32 campaign in 2024, McKinnon could struggle to find a landing spot.

McKinnon’s absence from KC’s offense did not necessarily lead to more touches for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who played only 22% of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps. While it’s fun to imagine CEH breaking out as a pass-catching weapon in another offense, there aren’t many better situations than playing alongside Mahomes in a Reid-coordinated offense.

EDGE Mike Danna

Mike Danna might not be a household name, but he’s been a valuable member of the Chiefs’ pass-rush plan since joining the team as a fifth-round pick in 2020. He set a new career high by playing 745 defensive snaps last season.

But Danna isn’t just available — he’s effective. He managed a 10.1% pressure rate year, and while he’s slipped below 7% in 2023, Danna finished with 6.5 sacks.

Danna will be entering his age-26 season in 2024. A solid run defender who can win one-on-one in pass-rushing situations, Danna is the type of underrated player who often scores a surprisingly lofty contract in free agency.

Other Chiefs 2024 Free Agents

  • QB Blaine Gabbert
  • WR Mecole Hardman
  • WR Richie James
  • TE Blake Bell
  • TE Jordy Fortson (restricted free agent)
  • OT Prince Tega Wanogho
  • G Nick Allegretti
  • DT Derrick Nnadi
  • DT Tershawn Wharton
  • DT Matt Dickerson
  • LB Darius Harris
  • S Deon Bush
  • S Mike Edwards
  • P Tommy Townsend
  • LS James Winchester

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