Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


The Reuben Foster Effect: Why the 49ers Won’t Trade for Marcus Peters

Sequoia Sims
Feb 20, 2018 at 3:42 PM


Recently, NFL reporter for CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora, reported hearing chatter about Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters' stay in Kansas City possibly being short-lived and that he expects talks to intensify next week at the NFL Combine.


I recently delivered on the 49ers Webzone an article entitled: Looking at the Culture and Infrastructure Around Reuben Foster. That article helped lay the groundwork and blueprint for why I'm delivering the second installment from an intervention specialist perspective: The Reuben Foster Effect: Why the 49ers won't trade for Marcus Peters.

Disclaimer: To be crystal clear, Marcus Peters isn't Reuben Foster in terms of off-the-field issues and concerns. However, his NFL Draft profile read as such: lacks the necessary discipline and maturity on the field and in practice.

With that being said, I'll objectively break down why the 49ers won't trade for Peters using a multitude of factors, which will consist of documented incidents and trends/history of the 49ers' troubled players while tapping into some of my professional experience -- the study of behavioral/emotional tendencies and patterns.

Why did the 49ers pass on Peters to select Arik Armstead?


San Francisco passed on Peters because of the Aldon Smith (off-the-field issues) effect. The 49ers initially had the 15th pick in the 2015 draft, and cornerback and the defensive line needed to be addressed due to former 49er Justin Smith contemplating retirement and Ray McDonald who was no longer on the team (domestic violence).

The 49ers could have selected Peters at No. 15 or No. 17, but they didn't. They traded down and at No. 17, elected to select a player that was clean cut on and off the field in Armstead, which netted them a fourth-round pick, No. 117 overall, and a 2016 fifth-round selection.

The resume of Marcus Peters


Peters was drafted 18th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2015 draft. During his three NFL years, he was honored with a Pro-Bowl selection his first two years and named a first-team All-Pro in 2016.

During that time, he has accounted for 151 combined tackles, 19 interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, five forced fumbles, and 55 passes defended. He's also started and played 45 games out of a possible 48 (he missed one game due to a suspension).

Important to call out: Peters is an ideal fit for the 49ers' defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's 4-3 under/cover three defense based on his physicality, size at 6 feet and 198 lbs., ball-hawking abilities, and dawg mentality.

His 85.7 Pro Football Focus grade in 2017 ranks 17th-best among all NFL corners, which is nothing to sneeze at in a down year. By comparison, the 49ers' No. 1 cornerback, Ahkello Witherspoon, posted an 81.1 PFF grade last year, which was 42nd-best.

Recent Niners Live article alerts: Why the 49ers Would Consider Giving Tank Carradine an Extension, from a different perspective, of course.

Per his draft profile, Peters was compared (size, attributes, and style of play) to current Pro-Bowler and All-Pro cornerback Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos. Speaking of Talib, I recently wrote an article on the 49ers Webzone titled: Five Reasons Why the 49ers Should Strongly Consider Five-Time Pro Bowl CB Aqib Talib.

Intervention Specialist Perspective (ISP)


Like Peters, I'm also an Oakland native. While I don't know the young man personally, I do know people that know him and have coached him behind the scenes. So there is some home-field advantage writing this article. Being the son of a coach, Peters naturally has a high football I.Q. His dad's name is Michael Peters, who's regarded as a disciplinarian.

Peters is a no-nonsense, emotional type of player with a strong personality who is outspoken and doesn't shy away from expressing how he feels (not scared of confrontation), whether his delivery is right or wrong, either on the field or in a post-game interview.

Anyone that trades for Peters in an attempt to acquire his talents would need a very strong and established veteran locker room (see Foster article -- 49ers had 19 rookies see the field in 2017) to help Peters grow as a professional.

Checks and balances: NFL Network's Michael Robinson spoke with Peters during his suspension.

"I spoke to him this week, very much apologetic," Robinson said during Saturday's show. "He hates the way this thing came out. ... I think the loss of Eric Berry has done some damage to Marcus Peters on a personal note, just not being able to have that guy like an Ike Taylor in that locker room to be able to lean on when you're going through something."

Kansas City Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid on Peters after an altercation with a fan at Arrowhead Stadium:

"We can't go in that direction," Reid told reporters Wednesday via ESPN. "It's been addressed. I love the compete in the kid. I appreciate his work ethic and everything else, but as professionals, that's not something we want to take place.''

With the potential loss of safety Eric Reid in free agency, who's the only other established veteran in the secondary with Pro-Bowl credentials to his name that could help mentor or be a support system to Peters on how to become a better professional? It would seem unlikely that the 49ers have a strong enough culture and infrastructure to handle a strong personality like Peters'.

Why the 49ers won't trade for Marcus Peters


Personally, who wouldn't love to have Peters on their team? Ok, maybe the Chiefs wouldn't, but you get my point. Looking at the 49ers' situation with Foster and the Aldon Smith history, as noted in the article previously mentioned, they aren't entirely equipped in year two of the rebuilding process to handle a Foster and Peters pairing of personalities or their on- and off-the-field issues.

And then there's the compensation part of giving up draft capital (at least a second- or third-round pick) for Peters after the 49ers had already given up a second- and fourth-round pick to move up to select Foster in the 2017 draft.

Can you see the 49ers playing the draft compensation game again? Would the 49ers make Peters one of the top-five paid cornerbacks in the next year or two? Can you say "gun shy to pull the trigger?" Can you say "PR nightmare in the making?"

The 49ers, the city of San Francisco, Santa Clara, etc., are naturally conservative. And the culture that they've established long ago is about "winning with class," via CEO Jed York's comments a few years ago.

My Bottom Line


Football-wise, as far as need, talent level, and scheme fit (Peters), it's a no-brainer. However, this is also about personality, fit, culture, and infrastructure staying intact. Both parties don't fit each other in that respect. I'd be hard-pressed to believe York and General Manager John Lynch sign off on a potential trade for Peters.

Free agency alert: Cornerback Vontae Davis visiting with the 49ers. To Be Continued.....

Sequoia Sims: Founder of Niners Live, Content Creator, player breakdown specialist, and Senior Author. The home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, and different perspective, of course.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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