Depending on which version of the Belichick-era Patriots mythology/infamy you believe, Bill’s either always willing to roll the dice on a talented player with enough baggage to get himself a one-way ticket out of town from a team that used to love him, or Bill’s so strict that he’ll trade a guy for next to nothing for anything from wanting more money to freelancing on defense. More often than not, you’d be at least kind of right either way.
Apparently, though, when the Chiefs were making the rounds to see what kind of return they could get for their All-Pro corner Marcus Peters - which, you may have noticed, happens to be a position that most people think the Patriots probably could upgrade on this offseason - New England took a quick look and said “Nah, we’re good”.
That’s according to a report from Sports Illustrated on Tuesday that surely wasn’t strategically leaked to make everybody involved look like they tried REALLY HARD, right on the heels of the news that the Rams “only” gave up a 2018 fourth-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick - and the Chiefs had to send over their sixth-round pick along with Peters, too.
So, couple questions here: one, just as an outside observer eating some popcorn over here, why such a low return? And two, how does New England fit into this whole deal?
Back to the idea of the SI report making the Chiefs look a little better (unlike, say, a certain recent trade for a backup quarterback that certainly seems like the market wasn’t played correctly): SI’s Peter King reports that the Chiefs hit up every team in the league to see what they could get for Peters. And almost everybody either passed or offered what we here at the Pulpit like to refer to as a bag of peanuts.
Here’s the exact quotes from PK:
• I’m told the Chiefs called all 31 other teams in the league this month on Peters, looking for a trade partner, and 28 teams either said they were not interested or did not make an offer of any value. For a player with the playing history of Peters at a vital and hard-to-fill position, that’s amazing. One team made an offer of a mid-round pick, laughable for a player of Peters’ age and stature. (My guess is that was Cleveland or Indianapolis.) Two were in it until the end—the Rams and 49ers. And the Rams’ offer of second- and fourth-round picks was evidently better than San Francisco’s.
• The fact that the Chiefs were calling every team in the league about Peters let teams know that Kansas City coach Andy Reid and GM Brett Veach were desperate to dump him.
This is mostly amazing because there’s no doubt that the Patriots – or pretty much any other team, if we’re being honest – would’ve gotten instantly better on paper with Peters at cornerback. Assuming this all checks out, almost every team in the NFL sees him as enough of a wildcard that may or may not blow up in your face that it wasn’t worth a pick or two to roll the dice – like, say, the Day 2 or Day 3 picks that New England used to gamble on Kony Ealy, Cassius Marsh, Marquis Flowers, Johnson Bademosi, and Dwayne Allen. That’s... significant.
Unless there’s a lot that we’re missing out on here, the Patriots seem to have come to the same conclusion as most of the rest of the league – even with all of Peters’ talent, betting on him to suddenly change seems like a great way to get burned.