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Trent McDuffie: Disappointed L’Jarius Sneed isn’t here, but it allows new guys to step up

The Chiefs had to make some tough decisions about holding onto players in the wake of their second straight Super Bowl title and they were able to come to terms with defensive tackle Chris Jones on a new contract.

An agreement with cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was more elusive, however, and they traded him to the Titans after initially using their franchise tag. Sneed spent most of his time covering the top receiver from the opposing team, so the Chiefs will have to adjust their approach this season.

It remains to be seen exactly how they’ll do that, but 2022 first-round pick and 2023 All-Pro Trent McDuffie will be a big part of any plans in Kansas City. While he’s sorry to see Sneed go, McDuffie sees a big chance for him and fellow 2022 picks Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson to take on more prominent roles.

“We all love LJ,” McDuffie said, via Nate Taylor of “We’re disappointed to see him go, but also excited for his new journey. For us, it just allows new guys to step up and take on a bigger role. I’ve got to step up and be more of a leader. That’s exciting for me. I’ve had to speak up a little bit, especially with the rookies coming in and trying to learn this playbook.”

The Chiefs drafted Kamal Hadden in the sixth round this year and they also have 2022 seventh-rounder Nazeeh Johnson and 2023 seventh-rounder Nic Jones on hand. It’s a young group, but the Chiefs’ history of developing corners and what they’ve already seen from McDuffie should create some confidence that things will work out.