Rumors earlier this month surrounding a potential Patrick Peterson trade have now given into the Pro Bowl cornerback reportedly demanding to be dealt from the hapless Arizona Cardinals.
While the Cardinals themselves have publicly said they won’t trade Peterson, there’s a good chance he could force their hand prior to the Oct. 30 deadline.
Even at 28 year old, Peterson remains one of the top corners in the NFL. Thus far this season, he’s yielded a 39.9 quarterback rating when targeted. Needless to say, there’s going to be a lot of interest in his services over the next week. Here are five teams that should trade for the future Hall of Famer.
Kansas City Chiefs
If there’s one Achilles heel for this potentially historic Chiefs team, it has to be on defense. Kansas City is yielding the second-most passing yards in the NFL and ranks in the bottom 11 in the league in scoring defense. Relying on the likes of Steve Nelson and Orlando Scandrick just has not worked out for coordinator Bob Sutton. Kendall Fuller has also proven to be a downgrade from Marcus Peters as the team’s No. 1 corner.
Why not go out there and add to a lackluster group in an attempt to win that elusive Super Bowl title? Kansas City is just $6 million under the cap. This means the team would have to make another move to take on the remainder of Peterson’s $14.96 million cap hit. But it could very well work.
New Orleans Saints
As Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense continues on its path to breaking a ton of records for the red-hot 5-1 team, its defense just has not performed up to the level we saw last season. Second-year cornerback Marshon Lattimore has regressed after earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors last season. Meanwhile, no one has really stepped up behind him, leading to a Saints pass defense that’s yielding a 112.2 quarterback rating on the season.
The larger issue outside of compensation is that New Orleans is less than $2 million under the cap. Maybe the team looks to trade Mark Ingram as a way to create more cap room to acquire Peterson. Either way, it would take a lot of work from GM Mickey Loomis and Co.
Artie Burns has regressed after what was a sensational sophomore campaign. Outside of that, the Steelers secondary has underperformed all season. Including a six-touchdown performance from Patrick Mahomes earlier in the year, this unit has yielded 15 touchdowns compared to four interceptions for an opposing quarterback rating of 98.1. That’s not good for anyone involved.
Adding Peterson would change the entire dynamic here. It would enable Burns to be relegated to covering the opposing team’s No. 2 receiver and pretty much shut down one half of the field. With $9.3 million in cap room and the ability to clear up even more by trading holdout Le’Veon Bell, the financials are not a big deal for Pittsburgh.
Focus on the need for a running back. That’s fine. Philadelphia’s disastrous 3-4 start to the season has also magnified the need for more cornerback help. The defending champs have consistently been toasted by opposing quarterbacks, having yielded the eighth-most passing yards in the NFL. Youngsters Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox just aren’t ready for the prime-time stage. This leads us to believe Philadelphia should make a move before the Oct. 30 deadline.
Strapped up against the cap, general manager Howie Roseman and Co. would have to find a trade partner for Nick Foles if they were to seriously consider landing Peterson. Given some of the quarterback-needy teams around the league, that might be easier to do than one would initially imagine.
New England Patriots
As we’ve seen in recent years, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have not been afraid to exhaust future draft capital for a win-now type of player like Peterson. Given how much New England’s defense has regressed this season, a move of this ilk would make a ton of sense.
Just imagine Peterson lining up opposite All-Pro caliber cornerback Stephon Gilmore in the secondary. It would create one of the best cover tandems in the entire NFL. In turn, the Patriots’ defense would improve leaps and bounds. Financially speaking, New England is $7.4 million under the cap. It could easily make a move for Peterson without impacting said cap too much.