Kansas City Chiefs: Why Brandin Cooks is worth more than Marcus Peters

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Cornerback Marcus Peters
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Cornerback Marcus Peters /

The Los Angeles Rams have traded for Brandin Cooks, paying a lot more than they paid for Marcus Peters. Kansas City Chiefs fans might wonder why that is.

The Rams gave up their first round pick (23rd overall) and a sixth this year in return for Brandin Cooks and a fourth round pick from the Patriots. In comparison, the Rams only gave up a fourth round pick this year and second round pick next year for Marcus Peters and a sixth round pick this year.

If you just look at the compensation for those two players it would be easy to assume that Cooks is the better player than Peters. After all, a team would pay more for the better player right? Well unfortunately that’s not how trades work in the NFL.

Cooks is not a better player than Peters, but he’s also not any worse either. In his last three seasons, Cook has averaged 75 catches, 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns a season. To put that in perspective, that’s averaging for a season better than what Tyreek Hill did for the Chiefs in 2017.

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Those kinds of numbers for a team needing a wide receiver make him worth a first round pick. The Rams did not overpay for Cooks, they got a fairly good deal for him. So, then knowing that begs the question, why did the Rams get Peters for what is considered a steal by most?

Like Cooks, Peters is a good player, well worth a first round pick if not more. In three season with the Chiefs he averaged 50 tackles, 18 pass deflections, and six interceptions a season. He has more interceptions in his first three seasons than any other corner in league history. Throw in six forced fumbles and three turnovers and Peters is the definition of a game changer.

So the question comes, how did the same team pay so little for one superstar compared to the other? The easy answer is the value of each player was affected by more than simply on field production.

Cooks has been a model player in both college and the pros. As far as I can find, he’s never had any run-ins with coaches or had any on-field blow ups. He’s a player who, counting college, has played on three different teams with different styles and has just done his job.

Peters, on the other hand, has had a rough time in both college and the pros. He has now been basically kicked off two teams; the University of Washington actually kicked him off and the Chiefs trading him away for peanuts.

Peters has had multiple issues with on-field blow ups and penalties including his flag throw and punting the ball into the stands in 2016. He walked off the field after his flag throw and didn’t come back into the game ready to play.

Clearly the Chiefs had hit their boiling point with Peters and either Andy Reid or Clark Hunt (or both) decided he had to go. General manager Brett Veach was probably told to trade him no matter how bad the deal was in return, he was just to be gone no matter what. In that case, Veach did his job and got the best deal he could considering only one team was bidding on him.

On the flip side, nobody expected Cooks to be traded. He had no issues with the Patriots as far as we know, and he was still under a decent contract. The price to pry him away had to be higher because the Patriots were selling from a position of strength. The Chiefs were selling from the weakest position you can have.

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For the Ron “The Show” Hughley’s of the world who want to scream race as an issue with Peters, I can tell you that is false. I’ve spoken with people close to the situation and Peters’ social protesting had nothing to do with him being traded. It was all about his attitude off the field and immaturity at times on the field when the Chiefs were looking for a leader.

I know fans are still pretty upset over Peters being traded, and seeing the return the Patriots got for Cook just added salt to the wound. Fans need to take a step back, though, and see these trades for what they are. A great player being sold from a point of strength versus a great player being sold at a point of ultimate weakness. Like any other business, it’s all about supply and demand.