The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off Super Bowl Opening Night on February 5. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, defensive tackle Chris Jones, and several of the team’s stars spoke to reporters.
However, one key player was noticeably absent: Chiefs starting cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Chiefs captain and star CB L’Jarius Sneed is not present for Super Bowl Opening Night for personal reasons. (Good news, not bad news.)”
Naturally, this only fueled speculation over Sneed’s absence.
However, based on the pregnancy photos posted on Instagram by Sneed’s girlfriend, Bella Wu, it seems he may be at the hospital awaiting the arrival of his second child. Sneed already has a 6-year-old son, Kyson Kade, from a previous relationship.
On January 27, Wu shared photos from a pregnancy shoot featuring Sneed. She captioned the album, “I have loved you with an everlasting love-Jeremiah 31:3🙏🏽.” Sneed commented on the post, “B&K❤️🤞🏽.”
Wu first posted that they were expecting a child back in October. She posted a video with Sneed on the sidelines at Arrowhead Stadium and wrote, “Do your thing, we got your back 🏽.”
Sneed was originally drafted by the Chiefs in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft. He helped Kansas City win a Super Bowl in his rookie season. This past season in 2023, he was a key force on an already stacked defense. He recorded 78 total tackles, 14 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions during the regular season. In three playoff games, he added another 14 tackles and 2 passes defensed.
However, not everything Sneed does on the field shows up in the stats. While Pro Football Focus ranks Sneed as the 6th best defensive player on the team with an overall 71.1 grade, in reality, he’s better than that.
Sneed was so effective in shutting down Buffalo Bills star wide receiver Stefon Diggs in the Divisional round that the NFL hit the cornerback with a random drug test after the game.
This could be Sneed’s final season in a Chiefs jersey. While it’s hard to imagine Kansas City letting him go, they might not be able to afford him. According to Spotrac.com, Sneed is expected to earn a four-year, $65 million contract this offseason.
The Chiefs have 16 pending free agents and due to cap constraints, not everyone can stay in Kansas City.
Based on the crowd reaction at Allegiant Stadium, it seems there’s a lot of San Francisco 49ers fans in Las Vegas. Jones was me with heavy boos while addressing the crowd, as was Kelce.
The Chiefs are used to playing in hostile environments at this point. After defeating both the Bills and the Ravens on the road to reach to their fourth Super Bowl in five years, loud boos won’t phase this team.
When asked if the Chiefs are this year’s Super Bowl villains, Jones didn’t hesitate to say yes, as reported by SI.
“Absolutely,” Jones said. “For some reason, everybody used to love us. We used to be one of the most favorite teams. And now everybody’s like, ‘We’re ready for the Chiefs to lose.’ I don’t know why what changed, what dramatic incidents happened to where everybody felt like we should lose now, but that’s okay. They can continue hating.”