The 49ers could use some additional help at cornerback, and Marcus Peters is still available and is likely lowering his asking price in NFL free agency.
Veteran cornerback Marcus Peters is probably biding his time and waiting for the 2023 NFL Draft to come and go before he makes any sort of definitive move about where he’ll play this upcoming season.
Peters, 30 years old, remains unsigned after spending the last three-plus seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. And while the last two years have been marked by plenty of injuries, including a torn ACL suffered in 2021, the three-time Pro Bowler is still an excellent defensive back for a team in need.
The San Francisco 49ers are such a team.
Granted, the Niners don’t have too many roster holes and already made their big splash in NFL free agency by grabbing former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave.
With only a limited amount of salary cap space, affording Peters would probably be a difficult proposition for San Francisco.
Unless he remains unsigned, especially after the draft concludes later this April.
Why 49ers must put Marcus Peters on their offseason radar
Not unlike how the 49ers lured in former cornerback Richard Sherman in 2018, an aging player coming off injuries, going after Peters entering 2023 would make a ton of sense.
Both were similar in age, too. And while Peters had career-low numbers in interceptions (one) and passes broken up (four) last year in 13 regular-season games, he was still a valuable cover option for Baltimore as Pro Football Focus pointed out:
"Peters tore his ACL in 2021 but still managed a 69.5 coverage grade in 2022, and while he wasn’t quite the ball hawk we’ve come to know him as over his career, his 12 interceptions from 2018-2020 ranked third and his 5.2% interception rate per coverage target ranked sixth.The soon-to-be 30-year-old suffered a calf strain in December that sidelined him for the final three weeks of the regular season, but this was just his first season outside of 2021 where he didn’t log at least 900 snaps."
The Niners’ No. 1 boundary corner entering 2023 is Charvarius Ward. Nothing wrong there.
But the opposite number is questionable after San Francisco lost Emmanuel Moseley in NFL free agency to the Detroit Lions. Third-year pro Deommodore Lenoir, who assumed Moseley’s starting role after the latter tore his ACL in Week 5 last year, seems to be the favorite to start opposite Ward this season.
However, it’s not hard to see a player like Peters as a serious upgrade.
Now, much of this hinges upon what kind of asking price Peters will have. And he’d be wise to wait until after the draft to see how his market looks. Yet if there isn’t much of one in the wake of the draft, the 49ers need to be on the phone.
Even if it creates some roster jockeying to free up cap space, going after Peters is the kind of move a Super Bowl-contending team would want to make.
The last anyone checked, the Niners are one of those contending teams, and Peters would help solidify one of the few defensive weaknesses.