The Kansas City Chiefs will trade cornerback Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that the deal was finalized Friday. Los Angeles is expected send “a package of draft picks” to Kansas City in exchange for Peters, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport,
The swap cannot officially be consummated until the league calendar resets on March 14.
Peters, a first-round pick in 2015, made the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons, was named NFL defensive rookie of the year in 2015 and was an All-Pro in 2016. His 19 interceptions over the past three years are the most in the NFL, five more than second-place Reggie Nelson of the Oakland Raiders. (Including the playoffs, Peters has 21 interceptions).
But he also had become something of a headache for Kansas City: The Chiefs suspended him for a game this past season after he threw a penalty flag into the stands and walked off the field during a December game against the New York Jets. He also reportedly got into an argument with a coach on the team bus as it headed to the airport after that game.
The Chiefs now have traded key components of their offense and defense with the NFL offseason only weeks old. Late last month, they agreed to trade veteran quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a third-round draft pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller, who’s considered a rising star in the defensive backfield and would be a potential replacement for Peters.
The Chiefs, who allowed the fourth-most passing yards in the league last season even with Peters, also signed veteran free agent cornerback David Amerson last week.
Whispers about a possible Peters trade had been bubbling for the past week. The Chiefs had until May to decide whether to act on his fifth-year option, a decision that now will be made by the Rams.
Los Angeles is coming off its first playoff berth since 2004 and was the NFL’s third-ranked team in terms of defensive DVOA, a measure of efficiency. The Rams had 18 interceptions, which tied for sixth in the league, but cornerback Trumaine Johnson was seen as something of a weak point (Pro Football Focus ranks him as the league’s No. 68 cornerback). After playing under the franchise tag the past two seasons, Johnson almost certainly will sign elsewhere as a free agent this offseason.
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