Richard Sherman may not be the only high profile cornerback on the trade market.
On Thursday, rumors surfaced that the Kansas City Chiefs would be willing to trade two-time Pro Bowl, one-time All-Pro, 25-year-old corner Marcus Peters. As told to 950 KJR by Jason LaCanfora, the Chiefs may have grown tired of Peters’ behavior and attitude, a red flag that has followed him since his days at the University of Washington.
On with @SportsRadioKJR now with @JasonLaCanfora. He says he gets sense from people in KC that new Chiefs in new approach have "kind of reached their limit" with ex-#UWHuskies CB Marcus Peters and his antics, may be open to trading him— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) February 22, 2018
It is because of Peters’ connection to Seattle that some fans may wonder if the Seahawks would be a fit for the NFL’s leader in interceptions since 2015. Especially since Sherman is recovering from a torn Achilles and who some believe could be on his way out after requesting a possible trade last year — a request that was granted by head coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider, though a deal was never reached. Sherman is also entering the last year of his contract, meaning the team could be looking for a high-end starting cornerback soon, and Peters has certainly been one of those in his young career.
However, I don’t see how the two sides area much of a fit, nor do I have strong reason to believe that Peters will live up to his next contract.
As far as being a physical fit to what the Seahawks typically look for in a corner, Peters literally does not measure up. Sherman is 6’3, 195 lbs, 32” arms, 9.75” hands. Peters is 6’, 197 lbs, 31.5” arms, and 8.4” hands.
The arm length has been a focus for every Seattle corner since Sherman was drafted and then proceeded to dominate the league in 2011, with nearly ever Seahawks CB since hitting that measurement. Shaquill Griffin, the 2017 rookie who was the highest-drafted corner under Carroll and Schneider, is 6’, 194 lbs, much like Peters, but has 32.4” arms. On the contrary, Justin Coleman played a large role in Seattle’s defense last season and has 31.25” arms, but is a slot corner.
In some scenario where you trade Sherman for Peters straight up, and re-sign Coleman, a restricted free agent, then the Seahawks may not actually have a replacement for Sherman on the outside. They might not see Peters as a long-term fit at outside corner, and certainly they would not feel the need to pay a slot corner $12-$15 million per season, as Peters may demand when his contract expires in 2019 or 2020. (As a first round pick in 2015, Peters has a four-year deal with a one-year team option.)
Even picking up the fifth-year option would be quite expensive for any team that has Peters this year, whether it’s Kansas City or someone else.
Yes, Peters has been a highly-successful and productive cornerback for the Chiefs, but he slipped in 2017, his first without a Pro Bowl nod. Peters had five interceptions, but his passes defensed fell from 20 to 9, and interceptions in general are hard to sustain. We’ve witnessed this first hand with Sherman:
Sherman led the NFL with 24 interceptions from 2011-2014 (most of which happened with Peters down the street at UW), and has since recorded eight interceptions from 2015-2017. Part of this has to do with quarterbacks shying away from Sherman because of his prowess for turnovers, and opposing teams did this with Peters last year too, as he saw a career-low 79 targets. But it is also entirely possible that Peters best years were 2015-2017, and I’m almost certain that he’ll never be as valuable on a salary-to-performance basis.
The best years of Peters, as are the best years of most players, were the ones on his rookie contract because it allowed the team to spend money elsewhere while having a Pro Bowl cornerback leading the NFL in interceptions. The team that acquires Peters now will either be getting a cornerback who is worth what he’s about to paid — which is nice — or getting one who will struggle to live up to a $15 million salary, as Peters may demand.
Just look at the LA Rams and Trumaine Johnson. As far as I can tell, Johnson has never been considered one of the top five cornerbacks in the NFL, but the Rams have paid him over $30 million the last two years on the franchise tag because finding any good corners can be difficult in today’s league with so much geared towards assisting the offenses. That’s what they felt they had to do for Johnson, would you feel comfortable seeing Seattle in the same position? Acquiring Peters, then picking up his fifth-year option (potentially around $9 million), then seeing him holdout for a long-term deal that costs $14 million per season (the going rate for the top-five), or having to use the franchise tag on him if a deal can’t be reached?
And if you think this is only one scenario, or an unlikely scenario, remember that this is a 25-year-old All-Pro that his team may not want to keep because they may not be able to put up with his attitude anymore. Those rumors could be overblown, but 1: If they do trade him, clearly there was some truth to the rumors and 2: Peters has been considered a headache for coaches for quite some time.
Huskies head coach Chris Petersen suspended him for a game in 2014 because of a sideline tantrum (something Seattle is all too familiar with in regards to some of their own players), then was released from the team entirely. With the way things sound from the Chiefs right now, it appears that it could be two teams giving up on Peters within four years. That is not something that Seahawks fans should be ignoring.
Talent is talent, and Peters’ is unquestionable. But there also has to be serious considerations to not just talent, but personality. You can support such an acquisition but you must also acknowledge that within a year you could come to regret it. And if you think not, consider where Kansas City folk were at a year ago when he was 24 and freshly named to his first All-Pro roster, compared to today.
So, Peters is:
- Not a physical fit to the Seattle defense, as far as we’ve ever seen it under Carroll, and would not make sense as a slot corner
- Going to cost at least $9 million in 2019 and probably a lot more after that
- Coming off of the worst season of his three-season career, and in the previous two was prone to allowing explosive plays, something that the Seahawks staff has emphasized as the one thing they do not want to do
- An asset that would require giving up a significant draft pick or player; if that player was Sherman it may make some sense because of a number of variables (one team gets younger, the other team gets a player who is likely better all-around) but again, the two are not a one-to-one, they are quite different, and also Sherman is a valuable asset that will only be 30 next season. That is not young but he could have another 5-7 years left in the NFL and he’s quite affordable for 2018. I think an extension for Sherman makes a lot more sense than a trade for Peters
- A player who was let go by his college a little over three years ago, and now potentially available despite his obvious talents because his NFL coaches may not want to work with him anymore
Peters has the Seattle connections and I know why many are anxious to see what the “next” version of the secondary could be, especially given Sherman’s injury, age, and soon-to-be-expired contract, but I do not see the fit at all past two things: University of Washington and eerily-similar interception numbers to Sherman over his first three seasons.
That is not enough. Especially considering that Kansas City, a franchise that has put up with a lot in its recent history, has had enough.