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Bengals Urged to Sign 2-Time All-Pro Free Agent

Free agent Marcus Peters is still on the open market, and one analyst believes the Cincinnati Bengals could go after him.
Marcus Peters Free Agent

You can never have too many cornerbacks in today’s pass-heavy NFL, and free agent Marcus Peters is one of the best options left on the open market. While he’s not as reliable as guys like Stephon Gilmore or even Xaiven Howard, the three-time Pro Bowler can still play at a decent level. Last year, the veteran started 12 games for the Las Vegas Raiders, finishing the season with one interception, five passes defended, 43 tackles, and a 68.8 PFF grade, the 44th-best mark out of 127 eligible players.

Now entering his age-31 season, it’s safe to say that the former ballhawk superstar is not the same player he was back in 2019. With that being said, the advanced numbers suggest he can still contribute in a smaller role, and Bleacher Report believes he’d be an ideal fit with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Chidobe Awuzie is one loss the Bengals might not be fully prepared to replace. Cam Taylor-Britt and DJ Turner II might be ready to lead the cornerback room, but it’s always nice to have solid veteran in the rotation.

The Bengals might want to give Marcus Peters the opportunity to take over that role.

Bengals Urged To Sign Free Agent Marcus Peters

The Bengals could use another free agent cornerback, so it’s no surprise that the article believes the team could target Marcus Peters. However, they could also do better than him. Currently armed with just over $23 million in cap space, Cincinnati has the financial resources to go after someone like Stephon Gilmore. The former Defensive Player of the Year couldn’t close the deal with the Panthers, which implies he won’t receive the payday he’s hoping for. Seeing as Burrow’s cap hit is set to explode and Ja’Marr Chase will soon need an extension, Cincinnati should be all-in on the 2024 season.

Chances are, Marcus Peters won’t sign anywhere until Gilmore finds his free agent home. There is something of a logjam of veteran cornerbacks on the market, so Peters won’t want to sign for pennies on the dollar. With that disclaimer out of the way, Peters will find a new home eventually, and these five teams make the most sense.

Other Possible Teams

Houston Texans

The Texans are embracing the Super Bowl window brought on by C.J. Stroud’s rookie contract. With a young core in place, Houston added multiple starting-caliber defenders and traded for Stefon Diggs as the cherry on top. While this team has all the talent to win it all, adding a free agent like Marcus Peters will only increase their odds of hoisting the Lombardi. Cornerback is one of the few weaknesses on the roster, and Peters can do an adequate job slowing down opposing passing attacks.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have yet to find a proper replacement for star cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. While the present-day version of Marcus Peters isn’t nearly as good as Sneed, he could improve the secondary. Peters is at his best when he can aggressively go after interceptions, which makes him an ideal fit for this defense. Opposing teams will throw early and often to keep up with Patrick Mahomes, so Peters should have plenty of chances to make plays on the ball. Additionally, the veteran spent his best years in Kansas City and shouldn’t need much time to adjust to this scheme.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers couldn’t get it done with Stephon Gilmore, so they could pivot to Marcus Peters as a free agent. Carolina clearly wants another veteran cornerback, but they’re not in a position to pay top dollar for such services. While the team added offensive talent this offseason, they’ll still need to win games with a strong defense. Peters can improve the pass coverage and should take advantage of the relatively subpar quarterback play on the Panthers schedule.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers wisely spent most of the offseason adding talent to the offensive side of the ball. However, while they added some promising playmakers and fortified the offensive line, the unit probably won’t be good enough to compensate for a subpar defense. Losing Brandon Staley is addition by subtraction, but the Chargers still need more defensive talent to slow down the elite offenses of the AFC. Marcus Peters might not be atop their wish list, but the free agent will improve the defense and shouldn’t cost too much on the open market.

New Orleans Saints

If the season started today, New Orleans would be in good shape with Kool-Aid McKinstry and veteran Marshon Lattimore. However, with trade rumors surrounding the star cornerback, the team could invest in Marcus Peters as a free agent. New Orleans is strapped for cash, so they could deal Lattimore and insert Peters into the starting lineup. While this will make the team worse, the financial savings could justify this type of transaction.

Main Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie – USA Today Sports


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