The Baltimore Ravens sent linebacker Kenny Young and a 2020 fifth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for cornerback Marcus Peters in a surprise move on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. The fact that Peters was available via trade raised some eyebrows but the picture came together later in the day when the Rams acquired Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now Peters will suit up for the Ravens and bring an added edge to the defense.
Baltimore is stocked at cornerback with Peters joining a group that already includes Marlon Humphries, Brandon Carr, Cyrus Jones, Maurice Canady, Justin Bethel and Anthony Averett. Veteran Jimmy Smith should be able to return from a knee injury he suffered in the season opener. Smith’s return will create a crowded group.
Humphries, Peters, Carr and Smith are all starting caliber cornerbacks that have played the CB1 role in the past. Peters gives Baltimore a young defensive player with the swagger of last Ravens defenses. He is not afraid to trash talk on the field and has the ability to back it up.
The Ravens defense is coming off a solid outing against the lowly Bengals but struggled in their two previous games. Adding Peters was a good move and comes at a low cost. He remains one of the better cornerbacks in the league and is playing in his fifth season. He already has two interceptions this season.
The bigger question is whether or not the Ravens will sign Peters to a contract extension. He will likely command a large salary. Carr’s contract expires after the 2020 season but Baltimore can save $6 million in cap space if they release him.
Smith’s contract will expire after this season. Given that Humphries still has two years remaining on his deal, it’s likely that he and Peters will form the Ravens top cornerback duo in the future.
Through four seasons and six games, Peters has 24 career interceptions. He is capable of playing man or zone defense but is best suited in a zone scheme. His ball skills and aggressive approach to coverage gives him a chance against most receivers, even those bigger than him. Add in his willingness to come up and tackle running backs and you have the makings of a top corner.
Peters makes his Ravens debut on Sunday, October 20, 2019, against the Seattle Seahawks. It will be a homecoming of sorts since he played college football nearby at the University of Washington.