With the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs having agreed to terms on a trade for CB Marcus Peters and seemingly just waiting for the March 14 opening of the NFL new year to make it official, I linked up with Joel Thorman, Manager at Arrowhead Pride, the SB Nation community for Chiefs fans, to get a bit of info on the mercurial star from their point of view.
So um...hi. Joel, look. I’ve always appreciated the spirited competition between our two storied franchises...uh...but uh...the hell y’all doin? I get the synthesis of the trade was that, well, you guys had had enough. But certainly Chiefs fans don’t feel you guys got enough in terms of the trade compensation even with his attitude and off-field transgressions, right?
Most Chiefs fans did not want the Chiefs to make the trade in the first place. Peters is a young, Pro Bowl cornerback. Other than a young franchise quarterback or a pass rusher, that’s about as valuable as it gets in the NFL so I’m not sure what compensation every would’ve been good enough but for Chiefs fans that probably started with a first round pick, which they didn’t get. We knew the knocks on Peters coming out of school and we know the Chiefs suspended him last season so there are some warts there but not many people in Kansas City thought there were enough warts (that we knew about) that would justify trading him. It feels like there has to be more to the story here which is what’s frustrating for me.
What do Rams fans need to know about him on the field? What kind of cornerback is he? What are his best football traits?
Really high football IQ. He can play some bump and run coverage but often liked to play off coverage, usually so he can jump the route. There’s a a game against the Vikings a couple years ago where he kept his eyes on the quarterback and split off his man to step in front of a pass for the interception. I always remembered how smart he seemed so early in his career (indeed, his first NFL play was an interception). He understands leverage and routes and how to watch the quarterback, which lets him take risks. He’s not the fastest guy and he’s not the strongest or best tackler or any of that (he does have terrific hips) but he makes up for it with his football mind. Turnovers are the name of the game and he is elite in that area because of his football IQ.
Obviously, the trade will ultimately depend on whether or not the Rams can funnel Peters’ “passion” toward more fruitful outputs. He’s only under contract for this year, so if things blow up we can walk away, but then we just wasted our two draft picks. If he teeters between his on-field brilliance and off-field malfeasance, we could always use the fifth-year option and see if it’s worth it over a two-year span on the cheap. But if the Rams can get him to straighten out, it’s going to look like a steal. What do the Rams need to do to steer clear of that first option and ensure the third becomes reality? Where did things fail in KC with the principals involved? If you were advising the Rams’ coaching staff and locker room, what would you tell them?
I’m not completely sure where things failed. On the field, we know the good and bad. I described the good for you above. The bad was that he seemed to lose his cool at times. There was a sideline shot of him yelling at one of the Chiefs coaches. There were the personal fouls and throwing the flag in the stands and getting ejected. You’re going to get the full Marcus Peters experience there but the positives far outweighed the negatives on the field. As for everything else, I don’t really know what happened. His teammates all seemed to like him. He said he got along with Andy Reid. I know Chiefs owner Clark Hunt preferred him to stand for the anthem. There are reasons you think might have contributed to him being traded but I can’t say for sure. He should fit in fine in the Rams locker room. NFL players tend to like players with more interceptions than Deion Sanders in their first three years in the league.
Thanks to Joel for the time.