On Friday night it was revealed that Marcus Peters was being traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Los Angeles Rams. The trade sent the Chiefs Kingdom into a total meltdown. “Why are we trading one of our best players to another team? How has this been allowed to happen? Surely they could have sorted their differences out?”
Before we discuss the whys and the hows let’s take a look at Marcus Peters, the football player.
In Peters the Rams are receiving a turnover machine and the very best game-changing defender of the last 3 years. During his time in Kansas City Peters accounted for 19 interceptions during regular season play, the most of any player in the entire league. On top of this, he has the uncanny knack of stripping the football, forcing 6 fumbles, including a famous strip of Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin to set up an unlikely game-winning field goal for the Chiefs.
After his rookie season opposing Quarterbacks avoided his side of the field like the plague. Yes occasionally he would get beat deep, but no Quarterbacks were willing to try their luck more than they absolutely had to against #22.
So why did the Chiefs let a superstar of his calibre go?
Theory 1 – The Chiefs had enough
It’s rare for Andy Reid to suspend a player. Normally one of the coolest guys in football, ‘Big Red’ felt it was necessary to suspend Peters for the way he behaved in New York during the week 13 loss to the Jets. After famously throwing the referee’s flag into the stands and incorrectly thinking he had been ejected, Marcus left the field. After the game, Peters apparently had a confrontation with one of the Chiefs coaches which led to his suspension. Although I really like Peters and wanted him to stay in KC, I completely agreed with the decision to suspend him.
If the Chiefs expected Marcus to react in a positive manner, then it certainly appeared it worked. A week after his suspension Marcus produced a stellar performance against the Chargers, and everything looked rosy once more.
Despite his performance against the Chargers, it had been widely reported that Peters continued to disagree with coaches, especially Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton. Marcus had now become a locker room problem.
But this would contradict reports from this weekend that the decision to move on from him has not gone down well in the locker room. That’s not the kind of thing you would hear about a trade if Marcus was as bad as made out by some.
Had he remained you would still see the occasional unsportsmanlike penalty, yes you would see the arguments with a coach and yes you would continue to see the punts into the stands. But it’s obvious Marcus Peters is a heart on his sleeve kind of guy, the same can be said about Travis Kelce who has also had his issues with penalties and calling out coaches in the past.
The last point is why I do not believe for one second that it was in the Chiefs front office mind’s to trade Marcus Peters when the offseason began.
The real reason is . . .
Theory 2 – Marcus requested a trade
One theory that does not seem like it wants to go away is that the player asked to be traded. So again we go back to the age-old question, why?
It’s no secret that Peters was not the most popular of Kansas City athletes, in fact, it is safe to say that he is easily the least popular of current Kansas City athletes. As soon as he decided to begin sitting, kneeling, cycling or fist raising during the national anthem that was curtains for him in many Chiefs fan’s minds. For those fans, he didn’t reflect the views of the city and the franchise. Bickering with fans soon followed and the calls for his job had begun.
Clark Hunt was not shy in his lack of support for Peters’ protests. His position on the protests that “he would prefer if our athletes stood”. Clark had spoken to Marcus about his protests, but nothing changed. Marcus Peters continued to sit.
So did this pressure from the chairman and fans drive him to request a trade? Or was it as simple as he didn’t want to be in a KC and was simply homesick? After all, he is a proud Oakland guy and maybe he feels he can help his community more from Los Angeles.
A lot has been made of the fact that only the Rams and 49ers were interested in signing Peters. I have heard claims of he must have been a ‘locker room cancer’ (I hate that term by the way) because his previous employers John Dorsey and Chris Ballard weren’t interested. They might not have made an offer but I can guarantee they were interested, but they had one key thing going against them; Cleveland and Indianapolis aren’t in Cali.
The two teams that did make offers? Now, what do those two teams have in common? And no I am not talking about the NFC West.
What’s been said?
I was hoping that Marcus himself would come out and give the reasoning behind the trade. But even the most outspoken of players disappointed us with his very short goodbye to Kansas City. He posted on his Instagram account “The fame don’t make the name and the name don’t make it a game. K.C thank you”.
The truth is that we will never find out the real reason. You just know that Veach, Hunt and Reid are going to come out and give us a vanilla answer like ‘Marcus and the Chiefs were just heading in a different direction, so we thought it would be best to maximise value’.
Well, my follow up would be ‘what direction?’ Because the only direction I am interested in right now is the direction of the Superbowl, and without Marcus Peters, that route just became a whole lot harder.
Why don’t we know the price?
I’m not going to lie, this is starting to bug me. We have sold one of our best players and here we are 48 hours later and we are yet to know the price tag. If you believe what you read, then apparently the Chiefs will not be receiving a player or a first rounder for Peters’ services.
If this is the case then I am afraid there is something far more sinister to this whole situation. Why else would the Chiefs make the trade for such a cheap price? Every player will get homesick at some point, but that is the nature of the job. Teams can’t just go trading their best players on the cheap because they want to be closer to their friends and family, that is not how professional sports work. A player of Peter’s ability should command at least a first and a second round pick, but if the Chiefs have sold cheap then we will never truly know the real reason for this trade.
Where do the Chiefs go from here?
The Chiefs defence is now in complete rebuild mode. After possessing one of the top units in the league for nearly 5 seasons, the team now has obvious holes in all three levels. You should expect the Chiefs to be aggressive in free agency and the draft for defensive talent.
What now for Peters?
Your Defensive Line getting to the Quarterback is a ball-hawking Cornerback’s best friend. Unfortunately, Marcus Peters was never the beneficiary of such riches in KC. The same cannot be said for LA. Aaron Donald & Co will provide Peters with many more opportunities to prey on any pass that isn’t on point. I fully expect to see his interception numbers to rise. The most game defining defender in the league will continue to work his magic, and us Chiefs fans will have to sit and watch from afar whilst wondering ‘what if?’