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Making sense of the Marcus Peters trade

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NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs traded Marcus Peters.

I cannot believe it. I really can’t. It blows my mind. I spent some time discussing his unmatched value in terms of creating turnovers recently. The short story? He’s the best turnover creator in the league by far, and turnovers are the most valuable non-touchdown play in football.

Further, Peters is wildly cheap, with a year left on his rookie deal and the fifth-year option (which the Rams are certain to use). In short, at one of the most important positions in football, the Chiefs had a guy who did one of the most important things in football at a significantly higher rate than anyone else... for a very low cost.

And they traded him.

I’m trying to sort through my thoughts right now, but I needed to get something out there, or I won’t be able to think the rest of the day.

There are a few reasons people would give as to why the Chiefs would do this:

Number 1: Marcus Peters was never re-signing in Kansas City, so they wanted value now

This makes sense on the surface, but for me, it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. The Chiefs had full control over Peters for the next two years, three if you include the franchise tag. There wasn’t some kind of clock that was ticking here.

Yes, Peters would not have had the same trade value next year, and a comp pick isn’t worth as much... but still, trading a guy now because you don’t believe he’ll be back in two years seems a bit soon.

Even if the Chiefs approached Peters about an extension and he said, “No way, guys, and if you franchise me, I’ll sit out,” they still had years on their side.

So for me, this doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially on its own.

Number Two: Marcus Peters was a bigger issue than we know internally

Other than a few whispers from a few different people that Peters had a real problem with Bob Sutton (and I have no way of determining the veracity of that), this is a tough one. We did see Justin Houston have to pull Peters away from Sutton once and we know he got into it with a coach on the team bus. So there’s that.

Obviously, Peters being suspended last season makes this the most likely scenario. Andy Reid doesn’t suspend players without something pretty big going down. I (and many others) assumed it was about the flag throwing and the argument with the coach.

However, could there have been more going on?

Here’s what I do know: we’re already seeing multiple reports out there that Peters wasn’t happy being in Kansas City. I’m guessing we will only see the number of reports to that effect increase over the next few days and weeks.

Let me be clear on something... I think it’s generally on a coaching staff to get a player to do what needs to be done. While Peters has demonstrated some hot-headedness, nothing that I ever saw told me he couldn’t be coached.

So for me, it’s still frustrating that the Chiefs couldn’t find a way to smooth things over and make it work. By saying this, I’m not claiming that this is Peters’s fault. Because blame is shared when a relationship heads south in almost every case.

However, if Peters was very plainly unhappy in Kansas City and was making noise about it internally, this would explain why Brett Veach thought the move had to happen now. And it would explain (as of this writing, we don’t know the return) why they may have had to take less than they wanted.

As far as I know, Peters is popular with his teammates, and this is not going to be a popular move in the locker room. And frankly, it’s not one I agree with. But this is the only explanation I can see as to why the Chiefs did what they did here: Peters being unhappy and perhaps making that very plain to the team.

I guess now we just need to hope that the strong defensive performance we saw against the Raiders when Peters was suspended is a portent of things to come.

Because as of right now, a defense that lacked talent last season just lost one of its best players. And that’s rough.