Veteran CB Available if Vikings Are in the Mood

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Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans has missed back-to-back games with a calf injury, and the team owns a 6-6 record heading into a bye week.

On the whole, the Vikings’ defense has played marvelously in the last two months, righting the ship after a rocky start in September.

Veteran CB Available if Vikings Are in the Mood

And if the franchise wants to get deeper and richer in the secondary, one high-profile cornerback became available this week — Marcus Peters.

Veteran CB Available
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

The Las Vegas Raiders (coincidentally the Vikings’ next opponent) dropped Peters on Monday, and ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted Tuesday, “Former Raiders CB Marcus Peters has cleared waivers and now is a free agent. He can sign with any team immediately.”

The 30-year-old has played quite well for the Raiders, tallying an overall 68.8 Pro Football Focus grade, with a 71.3 score via pass coverage. It is unclear why Las Vegas dropped Peters from the depth chart.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

Peters was linked to the Vikings’ free-agent plans for much of the offseason, especially when Minnesota said goodbye to veterans like Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, Cameron Dantzler, and Chandon Sullivan. The Vikings signed Byron Murphy and Joejuan Williams, drafted Mekhi Blackmon, and called it good at CB.

To an extent, the plan has worked, as Minnesota ranks eighth leaguewide in pass coverage, per PFF.

Cornerback Available
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) and his teammates stomp on the Titans logo after Peters picked up an interception to seal their win over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville on January 10, 2021. © Andrew Nelles / via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

For now, this is the Vikings full CB depth chart:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Akayleb Evans
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Andrew Booth
  • Najee Thompson
  • Joejuan Williams (PS)
  • Jaylin Williams (PS)

It’s also worth noting that safety Josh Metellus often serves as a Swiss Army knife, manning slot cornerback duties inside Brian Flores’ suddenly good defense.

Aspect of Vikings
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The glory days for Peters are in the rearview, but he could have some production left in the tank. He played 736 defensive snaps in 2022, making his case for a relationship with the Vikings or another team as more than just a CB4 type. Peters has tabulated 33 interceptions in nine seasons, four All-Pro nods, three Pro Bowls, and won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015. 

Peters produced a 67.7 PFF grade in 2022 with the Baltimore Ravens.

Former Vikings general manager Jeff Diamond mentioned Peters as a possible free-agent target for the club in May, “With his lower level of production last year (also only six pass break-ups) and injury history, perhaps he can be signed for around the $7 million per year Patrick Peterson received from Pittsburgh this year in free agency. The Vikings surely could use Peters in the corner group as it’s hard to count on Andrew Booth Jr. staying healthy and starting all season after he battled injuries in college and a knee injury ended his rookie year after six games.”

Peterson wouldn’t cost $7 million this late in the season, and Minnesota has plenty of cap space ($7.1 million) to add any last-minute veterans from the open market.

Without Peters, Minnesota’s defense ranks eighth in the NFL after 12 weeks per EPA/Play.

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

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