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Could the Los Angeles Rams shop CB Marcus Peters?

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The Rams have a history of allowing defensive backs a chance at free agency, will Marcus Peters buck that trend? Or will the Rams look to recoup an investment?

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Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Now, let me preface the entire article by saying this: the Los Angeles Rams have never indicated that they’re going to trade CB Marcus Peters, it’s purely speculation and an interesting idea that I think is worthy of discussion. Anyways, lets jump into it.

The Rams traded for Peters nearly a year ago, acquiring him from the Kansas City Chiefs for a second and fourth-round pick. Peters is a mercurial cornerback talent who’s play garners a lot of attention (both good and bad) and his antics are unmatched in the league. Now, his “antics” aren’t really an issue — at least not under Head Coach Sean McVay — so that isn’t the reason for the idea that he could potentially be moved. The question is strictly raised because of performance concerns and even more so about the pending contract expiration.

Peters is currently slated to play on his fifth-year option, or in other words, the last year of his rookie contract. Under his fifth-year option, Peters is due $9.1m this year, meaning he’s slated to be a free agent at this time next season (2020). Now, that begs a few questions in my mind that only the Rams know the answers to:

  1. Is Peters a long-term answer at the CB position?
  2. Does his play warrant a massive contract extension ($14m+/year)
  3. Is he a franchise cornerstone piece?

His 2018 season was a complete tale of two halves as the first half of the season was incredibly rough for Peters, though things ultimately turned around in the back-half of the year. This article by the guys over at PFF truly shows how big of a performance spike there was from Peters before and after the bye week.

Things started well the first two or three weeks in the season, though Peters sustained a calf injury in week three versus the Los Angeles Chargers that ultimately could have hampered his performance in the following weeks. That’s likely true because those next few weeks were some of his worst games all year (Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks). Ironically, Peters’ running mate in CB Aqib Talib also sustained an injury in week three though he was placed on the injured reserve list and held out for majority of the year until the Detroit Lions game in week 13. The downfall of Peters coincided with Talib’s injury as Peters was now hurt and asked to travel with #1 receivers, when he’s clearly more comfortable on his half of the field on the right side. Not only that, but Peters was now being asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage, more press-man coverage, and offered less help from a safety on the backend. Talib’s return to the lineup meant Peters could go back to his half of the field and focus primarily on whoever lined up across, meaning he no longer needed to travel all over the field. That coupled with more off-coverage and spurts of zone coverage proved to be very helpful to the performance from Peters.

That begs the question, what will the Rams do with Marcus Peters?

Peters only has one year left on his contract, so will the Rams simply allow him to play it out and leave via free agency? They’ve been no strangers to letting DB’s hit the market as Rodney McLeod, T.J. McDonald, Trumaine Johnson, Janoris Jenkins, (and potentially) Lamarcus Joyner will all have left/hit the market since General Manager Les Snead took over. The cornerback market tells us Peters will likely top Trumaine Johnson’s contract from this past free agency period, and Johnson pulled himself a five-year $72.5m contract with $34m in guaranteed money, or an average of $14.5m per year. Should the Rams pay this amount to a guy that isn’t consistently great? Or will they even be willing to buck their trend of letting DB’s walk for Peters?

The last viewpoint which I find incredibly interesting is the idea of trading for OLB Khalil Mack. The Rams were rumored to not only have interest in the star pass rusher when he was made available in Oakland, but they reportedly made a strong and competitive offer for the pass rusher. The interesting part about the Mack situation is that the Rams offered a first and third-round pick for his services, but actually had the intention to only use him for the 2018 season prior to trading him this offseason as they simply knew they wouldn’t be able to afford both he and Aaron Donald. Why’s that interesting? Well, could they be deploying the same strategy with Marcus Peters?


What do you guys think is the most likely scenario?

Poll

What will happen with CB Marcus Peters?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Play out 2019, hit free agency
    (420 votes)
  • 29%
    Trade
    (218 votes)
  • 13%
    Contract extension
    (103 votes)
741 votes total Vote Now