At the annual NFL league meetings, Los Angeles Rams Head Coach shared the idea that the Rams absolutely want to sign CB Marcus Peters to a long-term extension, per Lindsey Thiry:
Sean McVay said that the Rams "Absolutely" want to sign CB Marcus Peters to an extension, noting his improved play in the second half of the season. Peters is entering fifth season of rookie deal.— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) March 26, 2019
Peters was originally acquired by the Rams in the 2018 offseason by way of a trade which sent the Rams’ 2019 second-round pick and 2018 fourth-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for the mercurial cornerback. His first season with the Rams was a roller coaster as a calf injury sustained in week three against the Los Angeles Chargers hampered him for a while, making him one of the least effective corners in the league up until about week 10, per Pro Football Focus. The return of CB Aqib Talib sparked a change in Peters’ play though, and he went on to finish the second half of 2018 with a strong showing. Part of that can be attributed to playing more off coverage both in zone and man, and not needing to shadow receivers, instead living at his spot at right cornerback.
Peters is currently on a fifth-year option that’ll cost the Rams just under $9.1m this year. Peters is slated to be a free agent in 2020, though according to Sean McVay, the Rams have interest in extending Peters for the foreseeable future. Looking at the cornerback market, it’s fair to assume Peters will demand top dollar, looking to likely top former Rams’ CB Trumaine Johnson’s five-year $72.5m with $45m guaranteed contract from the New York Jets.
Where things become interesting is that the Rams simply have been reluctant to prioritize the secondary in terms of long-term extensions. It dates back to the days of CB’s Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, and safeties Rodney McLeod, Lamarcus Joyner, T.J. McDonald, and Maurice Alexander, all of which weren’t handed long-term contracts and walked away to different franchises. General Manager Les Snead even called retaining the secondary “Priority A” many years ago, though things never materialized.
Peters remains a highly talented player who is emotional and not a cookie-cutter personality, but does that mean he’s not worthy of a long-term extension? Who knows. The important factor is the Rams have another 16 games (potentially more) to evaluate how Peters fits into Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ defense.