Chiefs Deal Pro Bowler Marcus Peters to Rams
Rams Trade Two Draft Picks for Young Pro Bowl Corner
Frank Coyle/ Head Scout
Early Trades Will Impact Upcoming Free Agent Market and NFL Draft
The Kansas City Chiefs made their second major trade since the close of the 2017 season last week, dealing Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams. The deal will become official on March 14th when the new NFL year starts for Free agency and trading period starts. The Rams have agreed to a deal where the Chiefs will receive two undisclosed draft choices, one of which may be a conditional pick in the NFL Draft 2019. Landing a player of Peters’ talent with potentially two more years under contract at $1.8 million for 2018 and a possibly fifth year option at a reasonable increase is a rare opportunity. It was reported by NFL.com that Peters and a 6th round pick this year goes to the Rams for a 4th round selection this year and a 2nd round pick in the NFL Draft 2019. The Rams can exercise the 5th year option in Peters’ contract for another season (2019). The Rams do not own a 2018 2nd round pick, traded earlier to Buffalo in the Sammy Watkins deal.
The Rams acquired the Pro Bowl CB Marcus Peters to replace young Pro Bowl corner Trumaine Johnson who is expected to explore free agency in mid-March and sign with the highest bidder. Peters is a two-time Pro Bowl performer who is only in his 3rd year as a pro and has become a major playmaker for the Chiefs and ranked as a rising NFL shut down cover man. He already has 19 career interceptions which is the most in the league since 2015, his rookie season. The only defender in NFL history with more in their first three year career is former Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed. Peters earned Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015, giving the Chiefs a true #1 cover man. The talented Peters though has a long history of off-field character issues, dating to his college days at Washington. The final compensation for the deal will be announced on March 14th. Peters was a former #1 pick by the Chiefs. Trades cannot become official until new league year beings on March 14.
Peters is one of the best corners in the league, showing ball-hawking skills from day one as a pro. In addition to his 19 career interceptions, he has totaled 55 passes defended. Despite his talent on the football field, the Chiefs became discussed by his continuous bad behavior both on and off the field. The team suspended him for one game last season for his actions during and after a loss to the Jets. He tossed a referee’s flag after a play, then left the field without being ejected. As a former #1 pick, he has a four-year deal which his club can exercise a 5th year extending the original contract. With only three years into this deal, the Rams can retain Peters by exercising their option next March and retain him for a 2nd season. In addition to probably losing CB Johnson next month, the Rams lost Pro Bowl corner Javoris Jenkins two years ago to the Giants while earning Pro Bowl honors his first season in 2016.
Earlier this offseason, the Chiefs agreed to ship QB Alex Smith to Washington for a #3 pick and rising corner Kendall Fuller. The two year corner was essential in the deal for Smith. The Chiefs also recently signed young veteran corner David Amerson from the Raiders. Those moves gave the Chiefs the talent and depth to listen to offers for Peters. The Rams moved quickly to replace their expected loss of young corner Trumaine Johnson in free agency. Johnson should be one of the highest paid free agents this offseason. The Rams may use their franchise tag on safety Lamarcus Joyner who is also up for free agency, though not the cost of the coveted Johnson.
The two trades change both the Free Agency and NFL Draft plans of a few clubs especially the Chiefs, Rams, Redskins and Raiders. With both the Browns and 49ers losing out on the bidding for Peters, those clubs have a huge salary cap cushion that puts them at the forefront in the bidding for Trumaine Johnson.
The start of the new NFL year March 14th should be exciting time with the trade market most likely active, in addition to the usual headlines provided by the Free Agency period. The NFL office will announce the new salary cap limit for clubs within two weeks. As usual, expect a number of veteran players released and placed on the market as ‘Street’ free agents.