When it comes to fan opinions about cornerback Marcus Peters, it seems everyone has a bold one. So it’s unsurprising that the reported controversial trade sending the Pro Bowler to Los Angeles has also been met with reactions across the spectrum.
As is the case with most activity in the NFL, and especially with the Kansas City Chiefs, the inner workings and details of the trade have not, and likely will not, come out to the public. This opens the door for lots of speculation about why exactly the team sent one of the game’s young stars packing for a couple draft picks.
No matter your opinion on Peters or the trade, there are a few facts that should not go overlooked.
For starters, Peters has flat out performed at an extremely high level in his first three seasons as a Chief. Peters has consistently graded out as one of the league’s better cover corners, showed a knack for the ball, forcing multiple key fumbles and most impressively, no player in the NFL has more interceptions than Peters since 2015.
On the other side, the idea that the Chiefs could have gotten way more in return for Peters is also likely not true. Multiple reports say Kansas City had been shopping Peters’ services for almost two months and that only two teams, the Rams and 49ers, expressed real interest.
That means the Browns and Colts, two teams with leadership that was instrumental in bringing Peters to Kansas City, said thanks but no thanks. The Rams return of a second and fourth round pick, in exchange for a sixth and Peters, is most likely the best Kansas City could get at this time.
But then the grey area enters of whether or not the Chiefs should have traded Peters for this return. After seeing this was his open market value, why did Kansas City still go through with trading away one of its young, key players?
The truth may never come out. It’s all loose theories at this point, of perhaps Peters asking for a trade that forced Kansas City’s hand, or Andy Reid and Bob Sutton asking Veach to trade Peters to avoid rumored locker room headaches, or even Clark Hunt asking Veach to trade Peters to please a portion of the fan base that did not approve of his national anthem protest.
Whatever the reason, it’s probably not based solely on his performance on the actual football field, or else Peters is most likely still in Kansas City.
Then there’s the debate over Peters on and off the field antics. He’s thrown a flag into the stands, punted a ball into the stands, camera’s caught him seemingly arguing with fans in the stands, there was a reported coach altercation after the Jets game, he was kicked off his college team and turned in multiple personal foul penalties over his time, but mostly early in his career.
The impact this had on the coaching staff and locker room has always been debated. Many say that Peters and his performance is well respected by teammates, while former players say something like that would cause a subtle divide. Added with national anthem protests, there’s a lot of factors involved.
But it’s important to remember that Peters was not an actual off the field problem in Kansas City, as the 25-year old was never reported to be in any trouble with the law, and helped out through charity work in both the Kansas City and Oakland communities.
There’s also the element involving the team and Peters’ impending future, as the soon to be fourth year player only had essentially two years left on his contract before free agency or a franchise tag hits. If the two had no plans on resigning two years from now, there could have been an agreement to just part ways and get whatever the best offer was now.
All of these are fair questions for both parties, but the actual answers may never come out. But with exception of Peters’ actual on the field resume, none of them should be treated as stone cold fact.
For whatever reason, the Chiefs felt they had to trade Peters this offseason. It caused the team to not maximize his value in return, and leave fans hoping they made the most of their apparently desperate situation. As some fans celebrate and others shutter at the thought of trading a star talent entering their prime, it’s the on field product that will hurt the most.
Peters was a great player for Kansas City, one that provided confidence, swagger, a ball-hawking mentality and clear motivation to be successful personally and as a team. Those contributions and consistent production will be extremely tough to replace when Kansas City takes the field at Arrowhead next season.
Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.