Marcus Peters

Rams Trade CB Marcus Peters To Ravens

The Rams have traded cornerback Marcus Peters to the Ravens for linebacker Kenny Young, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The Rams will also receive a 2020 fifth-round pick in the deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets

The trade comes on the heels of another smaller swap, which saw the Rams ship a 2021 draft pick to the Browns for guard Austin Corbett. Clearly, after a three-game slide, the Rams eager to shake things up.

Peters, 26, is in the fifth year of his rookie contract. This season was supposed to be Peters’ chance to secure a lucrative extension with the Rams. Instead, he’s starting over with the third team of his young career. The Rams would have likely fetched a third- or fourth-round pick for Peters, via the compensatory process, in 2021. They agreed to land Young and a fifth-rounder that will come a year earlier.

After this season, the Ravens will have the opportunity to franchise tag Peters, which would cuff him at approximately $17MM. Or, if they choose, they can allow Peters to test, or walk, in free agency. For now, the Ravens have him at a reasonable cap figure of $9.069MM.

In 2018, Peters showed serious flashes of promise, including a strong showing in a Super Bowl that was otherwise ugly for L.A. Still, he lacked consistency throughout the year, and he has a rep for being difficult with coaches.

With the Ravens, Peters will help secondary that lost defensive backs Tavon Young, Tony Jefferson, and DeShon Elliott for the year. Meanwhile, cornerback Maurice Canady is day-to-day with a hamstring injury.

The next game is critical,” head coach John Harbaugh said on Monday (via the Associated Press). “It won’t make or break us, but it will go a long way in setting us up for where we’re heading down the road and what kind of season we’re going to have.”

Harbaugh wasn’t kidding – the Ravens went out and got serious firepower in advance of their matchup against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Rams will add Young, a 2018 fourth-rounder who notched 2.5 sacks last season, to the mix.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extension Candidate: Rams CB Marcus Peters

With one year to go on his contract, the Rams say they’re looking to lock up Marcus Peters for the long haul. However, things have been quiet on that front and it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll be re-upped at all. 

Peters, 26, is entering the fifth year of his rookie contract. After that, the Rams have the option of keeping him off of the free market with the franchise tag, but that would be an expensive proposition. This offseason, the one-year tender for cornerbacks was set at $16.022MM. Next year, that number is expected to climb north of $17MM.

Peters’ 2018 campaign was a tale of two players. He struggled in the first half of the year, but things started to click in the latter portion of the season. He was particularly impressive in the Super Bowl and, along with punter Johnny Hekker, he was one of only a few Rams players to turn in a quality performance.vIn terms of pure talent, Peters is among the very best at his position. However, his up-and-down 2018 season and history of clashing with coaches in Kansas City may be giving the Rams pause.

It’s also worth noting that the Rams have been reluctant to pay big bucks for defensive backs in the past. In recent years, they’ve allowed corners Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins and safeties Rodney McLeod, T.J. McDonald, and Lamarcus Joyner to walk. And, in the recent case of Johnson, that proved to be a wise move – if given the opportunity by a genie, the Jets probably turn back time and tear up the veteran’s five-year, $72.5MM deal (they might also ask the genie to fire then-GM Mike Maccagnan before the thick of the 2018 offseason, but we digress.)

So, what will the Rams do with Peters? If they choose, they can stand pat and allow Peters to play out his 2019 season at a reasonable rate of $9.069MM. Alternatively, if they want to extend Peters now, they may have to back up a Brinks truck for him.

In May, the Dolphins made Xavien Howard the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history with a five-year, $76.5MM extension, giving him an average annual value of $15.3MM. The deal also includes $27MM in full guarantees, slotting him behind only Josh Norman, Johnson, Stephon Gilmore, Denzel Ward, and Jenkins. When considering that two of those corners once formed the backbone of the Rams’ secondary, it’s hard to see the team making a similar commitment to Peters before he can consistently prove his worth over the course of a full season.

For what it’s worth, head coach Sean McVay says the Rams “absolutely” want to sign Peters to an extension. We’ll see if the Rams put their money where their mouth is in the coming weeks, when Peters’ reps will likely seek a deal in the neighborhood of Howard’s.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Notes: Peters, Johnson, Gurley

The Rams have a lot on their plate coming up. As they look to defend their NFC championship, they have a bunch of players who will need new contracts soon. One of those is cornerback Marcus Peters, who is heading into the final year of his rookie deal. Rams coach Sean McVay said back in March that the team wanted to extend Peters, but there hasn’t been much progress since then. There’s no guarantee that anything gets done, and Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic notes that while the “Rams have shown a tendency to lock up players they consider core pieces,” that “they’ve also been selective, if not entirely reluctant, to do so with defensive backs.”

Peters is surely looking for a huge payday, but he was inconsistent during his first season in Los Angeles last year. Bonsignore points out that just in the past few years they’ve let corners Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins and safeties Rodney McLeod, T.J. McDonald and Lamarcus Joyner all walk in free agency, choosing to replenish through the draft and in trades. The Rams gave up a lot to acquire Peters from the Chiefs, but it doesn’t sound like they’re quite sold on him. Bonsignore writes that “it looks like a situation they’ll table until next March,” so it doesn’t sound like Peters will get a new deal before the season starts. If that’s the case, he’ll need to prove himself with a bounce back 2019.

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • While Bonsignore pointed out an interesting trend about the Rams and defensive backs, in the same piece he noted it’ll soon be broken. Not necessarily by Peters, but by safety John Johnson. He writes the Rams “have made it clear they intend” to lock up Johnson, although he does caution that he “probably won’t get a new” contract until this time next year, as he still has two years left on his rookie deal. Johnson, a third round pick in 2017, has blossomed into one of the league’s best young safeties. He’s thrived in Wade Phillips’ defense, racking up four interceptions and 11 passes defended last year.
  • The Rams have been impressively tightlipped about the health of Todd Gurley. Ever since Gurley was hampered down the stretch last season and ended up splitting time with C.J. Anderson, it’s been impossible to pin down specifics. Reports have varied from him having arthritis in his knee that could potentially derail his career, to insisting that everything was fine. While the Rams have tried to put a positive spin on everything, Jay Glazer of The Athletic hears that Gurley’s knee “is a concern.” Glazer does write that “it’s not all doom and gloom” in Los Angeles, but he makes it sound like something that’s unpredictable and could blow up at any time. All the Rams would say recently is that they have an “individualized workout plan” for their star running back this offseason. Gurley has been staying away from the team’s OTAs, so he hasn’t had to answer questions from reporters yet. We should hopefully have more clarity on the situation soon.
  • In case you missed it, the Rams extended Troy Hill on Thursday.

Rams Want To Lock Up Marcus Peters

The Rams “absolutely” want to sign cornerback Marcus Peters to an extension, head coach Sean McVay says (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry). McVay highlighted Peters’ strong play in the second half of the 2018 season as reason for the club wanting to lock him up. 

Peters, 26, is entering the fifth year of his rookie contract. After that, the Rams have the option of keeping him off of the free market with the franchise tag, but that would be an expensive proposition. This offseason, the one-year tender for cornerbacks was set at $16.022MM. Next year, that number is expected to climb north of $17MM.

Last year, Peters started in all 16 of the Rams’ regular season games plus the club’s three postseason contests. Peters finished with 43 tackles and three interceptions, including a pick six in Week 1 against the Raiders. Two of his INTs came in the second half of the season and he impressed in the Super Bowl while many of the club’s other stars sagged.

For what it’s worth, the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus were not super impressed with Peters on the whole. He graded out as just the 78th best cornerback in the NFL out of 112 qualified players, a far cry from his top 20 placement in 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

TNF Notes: Vikings, Cook, Rams, Peters

Let’s take a look at a few notes on the Vikings and Rams before tonight’s tilt:

  • Running back Dalvin Cook didn’t play in Week 3 when the Vikings lost to the Bills, but he’s expected to suit up tonight, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cook is dealing with a hamstring injury, and Minnesota coaches plan to use caution by examining his during pre-game warmups. After taking part in today’s walkthrough, Cook will be on a pitch count against the Rams. That means backup Latavius Murray, who filled in for Cook last week, could see work against Los Angeles’ vaunted defensive line. Cook, of course, suffered a torn ACL and missed the majority of his rookie campaign in 2017, but did average 4.8 yards per carry before going down.
  • Cook isn’t the only injured player who will be active for tonight’s contest, as Rams cornerback Marcus Peters will be avaialable despite reports he would miss time with a calf strain, tweets Steve Wyche of NFL.com. Peters was expected to miss two-to-four weeks, a devastating loss especially given that fellow Los Angeles defensive back Aqib Talib was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Instead, Peters will take the field, giving the Rams at least some hope of stopping Vikings wideouts Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Like Cook, Peters could conceivably be on a snap limit, meaning Los Angeles will need to count on reserves like Sam Shields and Troy Hill.
  • After a bizarre weekend, Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen will unsurprisingly be inactive for tonight’s game. He spent today finishing a mental health evaluation, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link), who adds Griffen is expected to speak publicly about his situation in the near future. Police were called to Minneapolis hotel Saturday following reports Griffen was threatening to assault staff members, and Griffen later reportedly behaved erratically outside teammate Trae Waynes‘ home.

Aqib Talib To Undergo Surgery

Aqib Talib is expected to miss around a month of action because of a high ankle sprain suffered in the Rams’ win over the Chargers. However, this process will now include a surgery.

Sean McVay confirmed Talib will have surgery on Thursday (per The Athletic’s Vincent Bonsignore, on Twitter). He’s been declared out for Thursday’s game against the Vikings, and McVay isn’t sure how long it will take Talib to recover from this operation, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

An IR stay for the 11th-year defender hasn’t yet been mentioned. The Rams are set to face the Vikings in a key NFC game Thursday and may not have either Talib or Marcus Peters for it. Peters is battling a calf strain and is day-to-day, per McVay.

This will be a blow to a Rams team flush with star talent on defense. Nickell Robey-Coleman and Sam Shields represent the next men up, but Robey-Coleman serves as Los Angeles’ slot corner. Shields missed all but one game during the 2016 and ’17 seasons due to severe concussion trouble. He’s played in 48 snaps across three Rams games this season, however. The former Packers top corner is still just 30.

Talib has not missed more than three games in a season since his 2012 campaign with the Buccaneers and Patriots. He missed three games for the 2016 Broncos but still earned his first-team All-Pro honor. He missed one game last season, but that was for his fight with Michael Crabtree.

Following their home Vikings tilt, the Rams have road trips scheduled for Seattle, Denver and San Francisco. It appears unlikely Talib will be healthy enough to face the Broncos in Week 6.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams CB Marcus Peters To Miss Time

Rams cornerback Marcus Peters is believed to have suffered a calf strain that could sideline him for two to four weeks, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. The good news is that the initial tests show no structural damage, so it shouldn’t be a long-term absence for the standout corner.

The Rams acquired Peters from the Chiefs this offseason in exchange for second and fourth-round picks. In terms of talent, Peters is one of the league’s very best young cornerbacks, but Kansas City grew tired of the headaches.

The Rams, so far, have been treated to the good side of the 25-year-old. Peters nabbed a pick six in the team’s Week 1 win over the Raiders and has graded out as a top-30 cornerback through three weeks, according to Pro Football Focus.

Veteran Sam Shields saw 37 snaps on Sunday and wound up leading all L.A. corners in that area as Peters and Aqib Talib (ankle injury) were forced out of action. Shields is a good bet to move into the starting lineup, but the Rams may also need to bolster their cornerback group with an outside addition.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Pick Up Options For Gurley, Peters

Some fifth-year option decisions are easier than others. On Tuesday, the Rams finalized a couple of no-brainer calls. The Rams will exercise their fifth-year options on running back Todd Gurley and cornerback Marcus Peters, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). 

Gurley, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 draft, set new career highs in 2017 as he ran for 1,305 yards with a league-leading 13 rushing touchdowns. He also set new personal watermarks with 64 catches and 788 yards with six receiving TDs. The decision to keep him under contract for 2019 was an easy one, but the eventual discussions on a new long-term deal could be tricky. The Rams will have to address the contracts of several other key players – including Peters and defensive tackle Aaron Donald – and Gurley will command a whopping asking price, particularly if Steelers star Le’Veon Bell secures the mammoth contract he is seeking.

The Rams acquired Peters in February from the Chiefs in February in exchange for second- and fourth-round draft picks. Peters is one of the most talented young cornerbacks in the NFL, but a personality clash led to his exit from KC. The Rams, presumably, will want to see how Peters meshes with the coaching staff before discussing a long-term contract. For now, the Rams have Peters under contract through 2019 with the option to bail for any non-injury reason.

As shown on PFR’s 2019 fifth-year option tracker, Gurley is set to earn $9.630MM in 2019 while Peters is slated to make $9.069MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Butler, Shead, Rams, Chiefs

It’s been a wild ride for the Seahawks defense the past week. After the team traded Michael Bennett to the Eagles and released Richard Sherman, it also decided to release cornerback DeShawn Shead.

This was noteworthy because the Seahawks told the player it would release him to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent despite the NFL saying his contract should toll for 2018.

Earlier today, Shead signed with the Lions but reportedly wanted a return to the Seahawks, the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta tweets. After Seattle honored its statement to make the cornerback a free agent, Shead wanted to give Seattle every chance to keep him, but the organization ultimately wouldn’t match the offer he received from the Lions.

Seattle now enters free agency without three of its top veterans and could be seeing the end of the Earl Thomas era, who has threatened to hold out if he doesn’t receive a new deal. The Seahawks could deal him this offseason and are reportedly looking for a first-round pick in return.

Needless to say, the Seahawks once-stingy defensive unit will look plenty different in 2018.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Rams general manager Les Snead said on Wednesday the team traded linebacker Alec Ogletree to accommodate the ensuing move for cornerback Aqib Talib, Alden Gonzalez tweets. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips prefers cornerbacks to linebackers in his scheme, and a big move had to be made to bring in the former Broncos corner, who will count $11 MM toward the cap.
  • Snead also said he sees ways the Rams can address run defense and the pass rush in free agency, Gonzalez tweets. Though he is weighing what will be available to fill those holes with rookies, he doesn’t want to just wait until the draft to fill obvious needs. The team received some insurance for its pass rush on Wednesday when it re-signed veteran linebacker Connor Barwin.
  • New Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler said he was worried his Super Bowl benching would hurt his value on the open market, USA Today’s Lindsay Jones tweets. Butler notoriously didn’t see the field against the Eagles in February when the Patriots allowed Nick Foles to shred their secondary. The 2015 Pro Bowl selection reached a deal with the Titans on Wednesday worth up to $61 MM over five years, with $30 MM of that being guaranteed.
  • Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said cornerback Marcus Peters‘ trade to the Rams had nothing to do with national anthem protests, Pro Football Talk passes along“This was a football decision. … This wasn’t just one game, wasn’t a month, this was three years of body of work, and we look for consistency. We felt that this was in the best interest of the team,” Veach said. 
  • Veach also touched on the Chiefs move for Sammy Watkins, saying the team pounced on the receiver in the first minute of free agency, the NFL Network’s James Palmer tweets. Veach said that if Watkins received a call before theirs, the other team would’ve had to call in 30 seconds before they did. The team was motivated to move on Watkins to add him to Tyreek Hill, giving strong-armed quarterback Patrick Mahomes a pair of dynamic, stretch-the-field receivers.

Chiefs Notes: Peters, Smith, Rams

New Rams cornerback Marcus Peters appeared on NFL Network (Facebook link) to make his first comments since the big trade from Kansas City. When asked about whether he agrees with the Chiefs’ decision to trade Alex Smith earlier in the offseason, he did not mince words.

No. Man, Alex, Alex don’t get enough respect,” Peters said. “And they need to start putting some respect on that man’s name. Because I’ve seen that man get thrown in with not the best team at times and he took it as a man. And he never complained about it. He don’t turn over the ball. And he knows how to win. That was our fault for messing up the playoffs. That was our fault.”

Of course, the Chiefs’ trade of Smith was less of a referendum on his talent and more of a vote of confidence for rising sophomore Patrick Mahomes. Between the trades of Smith and Peters, the Chiefs are armed with additional flexibility and draft capital this offseason, making them one of the most interesting teams to keep an eye on.

Here’s more out of KC:

  • The Chiefs called every team in the league about Peters and 28 teams either passed or did not make an offer of value, Peter King of The MMQB reports. One unknown team offered a mid-round pick (King guesses that it was the Browns or Colts) and only the Rams and Niners were in on him at the end. The Rams’ offer of second- and fourth-round picks, with a sixth-round choice going from KC to L.A., was apparently better than San Francisco’s.
  • Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com (Twitter link) gives the Chiefs a C grade for their end of the trade. Even without devaluing the 2019 second-round pick for time, Barnwell can’t wrap his head around that return for a young former All-Pro. Meanwhile, he gives the Rams a B+ for scoring a major bargain, despite Peters’ red flags.
  • The Chiefs will part ways with safety Ron Parker this offseason.