The Los Angeles Rams opened eyes in 2017 with a high-powered offense led by a young franchise quarterback taking the next step in his development. And now, the Rams are turning their attention to improving their defense.
ESPN’s Adam Schefer reports that the Kansas City Chiefs are going to trade cornerback Marcus Peters to the Rams. And while the Chiefs were reportedly pushing to get defensive end Robert Quinn as a return, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the team will settle for draft pick compensation for Peters. Much like the Kansas City-Washington trade that will send Alex Smith to the Redskins, this deal can’t be official until the new league year begins on March 14.
Peters is one of the league’s best corners. He was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 and an All-Pro in 2016. Since the start of the 2015 season, no cornerback has more interceptions (19) or passes defended (55) than Peters. In short, the Rams are getting a star caliber player at a bargain price because of perceived behavioral issues.
But here’s where the Bears could come in. Kansas City has already impacted the defensive backs market by trading for Kendall Fuller and signing David Amerson as a free agent. This trade with the Rams could have further implications in the free agent market.
By adding Peters to their mix of cornerbacks, the team will now likely part ways with cornerback Trumaine Johnson. The 28-year-old cornerback played under the franchise tag last season and came up with two interceptions, 13 passes defended, and a forced fumble. At 6-1 and 205 pounds, Johnson could be pursued by the Bears in free agency should the team not retain Kyle Fuller.
Moving on from Johnson could lead the Rams to hand the franchise tag to safety Lamarcus Joyner. If the Rams franchise Joyner, that would leave wide receiver Sammy Watkins available on the free agent market (who’s otherwise expected to be tagged). With Davante Adams and Jarvis Landry already off the market, Watkins could become the NFL’s top free agent receiver if the Jacksonville Jaguars extend the franchise tag to Allen Robinson. Of course, that isn’t guaranteed to happen either.
In any case, the more wide receiver options available, the better – especially for a Bears team with many vacancies and a young QB.