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Why the Chiefs could feasibly trade Marcus Peters (they shouldn’t)

Divisional Round - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The chatter about the Kansas City Chiefs moving Marcus Peters may be real after all, according to CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora.

While there were some rumblings last week, the idea of the Chiefs trading Peters first picked up mainstream steam when Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk posted this article: Is Peters available in trade?

So let’s jump into it, shall we?

Why trading Marcus Peters makes absolutely no sense

If Facebook, Twitter, and AP comments are any indications, this is where most of us fall on the trading Marcus Peters scale.

This is the easiest side to fall on because it is the most obvious.

Peters is one of the best cornerbacks in the National Football League and is still just 25 years old. Since he entered the league in 2015, no cornerback has more interceptions—he has 19 and the field starts with 14—and he is a two-time All-Pro. Peters also won the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2015.

He makes plays like this:

That’s Peters having the football instinct and enough confidence in it to come off his man to go for and intercept a football that was thrown to the playoffs.

That is an extremely rare trait for any member of the secondary on any team in the entire league. And because of that innate ball-hawk ability, quarterbacks have thrown at him less and less over the past few years:

That, folks, is a trend. He is due for a year in 2018 in which quarterbacks will throw at him less than 72 times. That is an entire side of the field wrapped up.

All the while, Peters is still on his initial contract. He is set to make $1.7 million this season with a $3 million cap hit. The Chiefs have an option for 2019 and could franchise tag him if need be after that.

Why in the hell would the Chiefs ever get rid of him?

Why trading Marcus Peters makes all the sense

I want to make it very clear here that I like Marcus Peters, a lot. I like what he’s done for the Kansas City and Oakland communities, I like the passion he brings to the game, and if I were the Chiefs, I would favor keeping him. He’s too much of a unicorn to let go.

For the sake of this article, however, let’s explore why I believe the Chiefs could make a case for trading him.

The first, indisputable argument is that Marcus Peters loses his cool way too often on the football field. Officially, Peters has four career unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, in addition to one taunting call. If you watch the Chiefs every week either at Arrowhead Stadium or on television, we all know it could be much worse than that.

We’ve seen Peters scream obscenities at fans in the stands, referees and opponents alike.

This season, we saw the worst of Peters’ actions as a professional when he threw a referee’s flag into the stands after a defensive holding call he did not agree with. The referees only gave Peters an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but he jogged off the field, only to return (now infamously) without his socks.

It was later reported that Peters got into an argument with a Chiefs coach on the way to the airport, and after that, head coach Andy Reid had seen enough.

The NFL only fined Peters for the in-game incident, but Reid gave him a one-game suspension.

Then, there is the elephant in the room: the protest Peters takes part in during the national anthem.

Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star wrote an article in early November, titled “Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt has met with Marcus Peters, others, about protests during anthem,” that should perhaps be paid more attention to.

The most important part of the article to note here is chairman and CEO Clark Hunt’s public stance on kneeling during the anthem.

“When it rolled around last year, it really wasn’t a big deal for us, and we’ve tried to stay with that this year,” Hunt said, per Paylor. “Obviously we’ve had some guys who have sat or knelt during some of the games this year, but we’ve continued to work with them and communicate with them that we prefer for them to stand.

“But at the end of the day, it’s their decision.”

Hunt added the two had a “great conversation,” but he wouldn’t get into details.

I do not bring this up because I think the Chiefs are an organization that would trade a player for taking part in a protest for something he believes in. But the ownership frankly stated it did not agree with the manner of the protest.

In the case of Peters and the Chiefs’ constant internal battle of player value vs. toleration, whether right or wrong, whether you believe one thing or another, Peters is on a different side when it comes to solely standing during the national anthem or not than the man paying him.

Then, there’s the NFL Draft.

Like every team in the National Football League, the Chiefs have needs entering 2018. What they don’t have this year (thanks to Patrick Mahomes) is a first-round pick. It is my opinion that there is a team in the league who may pay that, and if not that, perhaps two second-rounders, for Peters.

And finally (and most simply), this is an organization that would never get rid of Jamaal Charles John Dorsey Derrick Johnson Marcus Peters, right?

I hope the Chiefs don’t trade Peters, but if you think there’s a zero percent chance, you haven’t been paying attention.


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