On Saturday evening the Ravens made a surprising announcement when they shared that they had reached a deal on a three year contract extension with Marcus Peters worth $42 million.
I know that Eric DeCosta has made it a point to be aggressive in his attempts to keep players in Baltimore but this is nothing like the extensions we saw with Nick Boyle, Pat Ricard, or even Tavon Young.
Peters has been one of the best young corners in the game since being drafted in 2015. He has led the league in interceptions and pick sixes in that span while earning two Pro Bowl nods and one All-Pro honor.
Getting a player of his caliber to agree to an extension before the playoffs even start is surprising to say the least. Peters was likely in line for a market setting contract this off season regardless of how he performed in Baltimore and his performance on the field has only strengthened his case for a big pay day. Instead he has chosen to stay with the Ravens for the next three years and make less than what he would have likely received in free agency.
Don’t get me wrong, $42 million is still a hefty pay day and doesn’t put Peters too far off from the top paid corners in the league but right now he doesn’t even crack the top five when it comes to the highest paid at his position.
Take a look at the current largest corner back contracts below. Peters total contract value will be well below all of these but he is only signing a three year deal. His average of $14 million per year is a more telling number but still puts him outside the top five. It is also worth noting that $32 million of Peters new deal is guaranteed.
With this in mind, can we classify this deal as a steal? The means by which Peters arrived in Baltimore was just that, but Eric DeCosta has somehow made that trade with Los Angeles look even better by retaining Peters and not breaking the bank to do so.
Since his very first game as a member of the Ravens, Peters has made game breaking plays and helped elevate the play of his fellow defensive players. A pick six in Seattle was quite the introduction but Peters has since added two more interceptions and a game winning pass break up in Buffalo a few weeks ago.
Peters fits the mold of a everything a Ravens defensive player should be. The type of player that pisses every other fan base off because he’s a loud mouth who can back up his arrogance. He will taunt a receiver while lining up across from them, make a play, and then taunt them again right after.
Much was said about Peters personality when he showed up in Baltimore. It’s not often you see a player traded multiple times before their rookie contract expires, especially not one as talented as Peters. This only fed into the narrative that the 26-year-old corner was too self centered and a bad presence in the locker room. I’m not going to call these claims false but that hasn’t seemed to be an issue for Peters in Baltimore.
As I mentioned before, this is just the latest move made by DeCosta to help maintain the talent core on the Ravens roster. A handful of key players have been extended for less than market value and DeCosta is only getting started. Continuing to draft well will be essential but I have a feeling there will be much more money to throw at free agents and in house talent in the coming years. Joe Flacco’s post Super Bowl deal was the first bloated contract to get taken off the books and there are a few more that could soon follow.
Super Bowl fever has taken over Baltimore and the playoffs haven’t even started yet. How could anyone possibly be looking to the future at a time like this? DeCosta certainly is and we should all be extremely thankful. Whether the Ravens reach the mountain top this season or not, you can be assured they will be equipped to make that climb again in the years to come.
Image credit: Baltimore Sun