With the news that the Kansas City Chiefs have made their second blockbuster trade of the offseason with the dealing of Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams, it is fair to say that the trade possibilities over the next few weeks are looking quite interesting.
In the past, such big-name players never would have been moved, but with the continued growth of the salary cap, more teams are feeling comfortable making big trades. This one was interesting in particular because Ian Rapoport reported that during the course of shopping Peters around the league, the Chiefs reached out to both Chris Ballard and John Dorsey.
Ballard and Dorsey were involved in drafting Peters, and Rapoport said that both teams expressed “some interest” in a trade possibility. When it came down to it, Rapoport said, the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns were unwilling to give up what the Rams were. Given that the Rams were sending picks for Peters, it is not totally surprising that Ballard was not ready to match them. He has expressed how highly he values draft picks, and even though Peters is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, giving up significant draft capital for him is not ideal.
Personally, I am somewhat encouraged to know that Ballard is involved in discussions for top players, but is holding fast to his principle of not overpaying for them. Regardless of how good a player Peters is, he has just two years left on his contract and a history of being somewhat difficult to deal with. If he had chosen not to re-sign with the Colts after that two years was up, spending draft picks on him now would have ended up being a disaster.
Another interesting side effect of this trade is that Trumaine Johnson of the Rams will hit the market as a free agent. While he is not Marcus Peters, he is a very good option at cornerback and would be attainable using something the Colts have a lot of, cap space, rather than something they don’t want to give up, draft picks.
Whether Johnson is a player the Colts pursue, or whether they decide to stick with trying to re-sign Rashaan Melvin and/or Pierre Desir, the Colts will likely need to make a move at the cornerback position in free agency or risk having an even less experienced secondary than they had last season.
One thing is certain, with the start that the NFL offseason is off to, we can expect several more of these wild trades to happen in the coming weeks. There is a good possibility that the Colts could be involved in one of them, and almost a certainty that they will be in on the signing of a major free agent. Once the NFL Scouting Combine kicks off next week and all those executives are rubbing elbows, you can almost guarantee more moves will follow.