Glass Half-Empty: The Chiefs should move on from Charvarius Ward this offseason
The Kansas City Chiefs defense has come a long way since two years ago and a big part of that improved 2019 unit that won the Super Bowl was Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward. Charvarius Ward was pretty serviceable in 2019 for the Chiefs alongside Bashaud Breeland. In 2019, Ward recorded 56 solo tackles and 10 passes defended along with 2 interceptions. However, this year Ward has clearly regressed.
Ward currently sits at a 64.5 overall PFF grade and despite only playing 606 (74%) snaps so far this year, Ward has no interceptions and has given up 332 yards, 4 TDs, and a 62.8 completion percentage. Ward also leads the secondary in penalties committed as well.
Ward was a UDFA in 2018 so he was never thought to have a high ceiling in the first place but in 2019 he burst onto the scene and many saw him as a potential cornerstone in the secondary. Now, it's looking more realistic that Ward is a solid number two or three option at best. Could this be because teams have learned Ward's tendencies? It's possible.
Let's take a moment to point out what Charvarius Ward is good at. Ward is a long, physical press-man corner that you can throw on another team's second or sometimes first option depending on the matchup. That being said, Ward struggles in zone and he doesn't have great long-speed. We saw this in the first Las Vegas game when Ward gave up several big plays to Henry Ruggs and had arguably his worst game as a Chief. The Chiefs do play a lot of zone and also have lacked major speed at cornerback before the addition of L'Jarius Sneed.
L'Jarius Sneed has essentially made Ward become the odd man out. Bashaud Breeland while he is grabby at times, is a great coverage guy and Rashad Fenton has become the main slot guy. L'Jarius Sneed has also been fantastic and has basically become the number one guy at the position as he was leading the team in interceptions and passes defended before injury. Where does that leave Ward? Well, Ward has become a rotational man. There's nothing wrong with that at all. actually. However, the Chiefs recently picked up DeAndre Baker who will likely compete with Ward and Fenton for snaps. That probably tells you the Chiefs aren't fully confident in what they have.
Cornerback is also a position the Chiefs will likely target in the draft. There's just not that much room on the roster assuming the Chiefs will either re-sign Breeland or Ward if they also like Baker going forward. Will the Chiefs re-sign Ward? Before the season many fans might have said yes and many were surprised that Ward wasn't extended. This season is most likely an indication why the Chiefs were hesitant to do so. At this point, the Chiefs should take whatever money they were holding for Ward and give it to Bashaud Breeland as he clearly fits the team better and should be affordable after watching how his market developed last offseason.
Ward could probably get a solid deal somewhere else as there is a place for someone like him in this league, but the Chiefs have a decision to make this offseason and Ward just might not fit into their plans. That's unless he wants to come back at a number the Chiefs can't say no to. If Ward wants something like what Steven Nelson got from the Steelers two years ago, the Chiefs should probably move on.