Often rumors of free agent again linked to Vikings

December 8, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings fully embraced a renovation this offseason inside its cornerback room and said goodbye five veterans: Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, Cameron Dantzler, Chandon Sullivan and Kris Boyd.

In return, the club welcomed veterans Byron Murphy, Joejuan Williams and John Reid while drafting USC’s Mekhi Blackmon in April.

Often rumors of free agent again linked to Vikings

Minnesota’s coaching staff obviously has the most confidence in its young corners, including last year’s draftees Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans. They have to – it’s the only thing that makes sense after failing to sign any starting CBs after the Murphy addition.

But if the Vikings get lonesome for more veteran cornerback help in training camp or the preseason, one man has often been linked to the club over the past few months — free agent Marcus Peters.

Agent reconnected
10 January 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) celebrates after the AFC Wild Card playoff win against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

Our own Jeff Diamond, former Vikings general manager, mentioned Peters in May as a possible free-agent fit. Other sites have also called for the man’s services in Minnesota. And this week, Bleacher Report joined the club, naming the Vikings, Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders as best fits for Peters.

BRs Maurice Moton noted on Peters’ free agency: “At every stop in his NFL career, Marcus Peters has done one thing exceptionally well, and that is force turnovers. He has recorded 32 career interceptions with at least three in a season in six of his seven professional year, which is a testament to his ball-tracking consistency. In stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Ravens, Peters took the field as arguably the most influential playmaking cornerback on his team.”

October 11, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) runs with the ball after an interception in the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Peters is a four-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler whose resume lists 32 interceptions in 7 seasons as a pro.

“Sure, he’s shared the field with all-pros Jalen Ramsey and Marlon Humphrey, but the two elite cover men have just one pick-six combined. Peters has returned six interceptions for touchdowns, turning sticky coverage into attacks with the ball in his hands. However, Peters has hit a low point in his career. In September 2021, he tore his ACL and struggled in coverage last season, allowing a 113.7 passer rating with just one interception and six pass breakups,” Moton continued.

Keep an eye out for everyone
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) and his teammates stomp on the Titans logo after Peters had an interception to seal their win over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on Jan. 10, 2021. © Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Peters won’t break the bank this late in free agency, and the Vikings have about $18 million in cap space per. July 7. The figures agree from a budgetary point of view.

Moton concluded, “Still, Peters gets the benefit of the doubt. Two years after a serious knee injury, he could get back into Pro Bowl form in a predominantly man-to-man scheme.”

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) drops a pass as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) defends in the first quarter of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens 24-17. © Albert Cesare/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK.

Peters emphatically checks the right boxes for Minnesota. Its cornerback lacks experience. Peters does not. The Vikings corners have no accolades – like at all. Peters has all the awards. And no one knows for sure if Booth and Evans are ready for true blue starting gigs.

It’s unclear if Minnesota will actually explore Peters’ free agency — but it should.

The Vikings 'Under the Radar' player from a national lens

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNu. He is hosting a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Krydderi. His Viking obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’, Basset Hounds and The Doors (band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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