The Kansas City Chiefs continued dramatically reshaping their roster. After agreeing to send quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, the Chiefs have traded another star. Corner Marcus Peters was traded to the Rams for a 2018 fourth-round pick and a second-round pick in 2019. This is a huge deal for both teams. The Rams get a shutdown corner and other benefits. The Chiefs get more picks after trading a bundle of them to trade up in last year’s draft for Patrick Mahomes.
For the Rams, this brings them one step closer to having one of the best rosters in the league. This also means they can move on from corner Trumaine Johnson, who fans feared would get a long-term deal. The Rams kicked the can by tagging him twice which made him the highest paid corner in the league last year. Johnson played well but not well enough to get a long-term extension. Peters comes in on the last year of his current deal which is worth about $ 1.8 million. That is a steal for a guy who’s had 19 picks in two years.
The Rams not only get a shutdown corner but they get much-needed cap relief. Their biggest priority is locking up Defensive Player of the Year and Lovecraftian monster Aaron Donald to a long-term deal. They are also expected to cut wide receiver and Percy Harvin rip-off Tavon Austin. This would free up even more money to both lock up Donald and add some other key veterans to round out their roster.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips should get excellent use out of Peters and given the dire state of the Rams secondary he is a welcome weapon. Kayvon Webster is recovering from an Achilles injury and Nickell Robey-Coleman is a free agent. The Rams are also going to tag safety Lamarcus Joyner as he successfully made the transition to safety last year and will likely be locked up for the long-term next year if he continues that trend.
The Rams would still be better served to draft another corner or two given their lack of depth but trading for Peters gives them at least one star at the position and frees them up to make moves elsewhere. Long term, Peters will have to be paid as will Jared Goff and Todd Gurley but the Rams have shown that they are more than willing to figure that stuff out later.
The Chiefs decision to trade Peters is perplexing. On one hand, Peters is one of the best corners in the league. On the other, some said that his lack of maturity was becoming a problem. That complaint doesn’t seem that credible given that they employ Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs do need to retool their roster and are likely to cut veterans like Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali.
Even more perplexing for Kansas City was their haul wasn’t even that significant. The Rams picks aren’t likely to be that high but maybe it’s about getting younger assets as their team is getting expensive. The Chiefs might feel that Kendall Fuller is Marcus Peters without the supposed headaches. That might be true but most would rather have both plus a returning Eric Berry anchoring their secondary.
The Chiefs are likely going to use all their free money to find weapons to give Mahomes as they are only armed with tight end Travis Kelce and Hill. Kareem Hunt had a great rookie season at running back but he hasn’t become a major asset in the passing game yet. They still don’t have a first-round pick but the rest of the picks they’ve acquired will go towards rebuilding their offense and doing so on a cost-controlled basis. They are likely to take a step back this season assuming Mahomes doesn’t have the smoothest transition as a full-time starter.
Marcus Peters will make life tough for the rest of the NFC. The Rams now have a loaded defense to go with their already loaded offense. The Chiefs are taking the Eagles route in rebuilding their roster without totally blowing up their roster. Kansas City likely isn’t done making major moves and will continue to be major players in this offseason.