It’s not hard to remember a time when the Ravens secondary needed an upgrade.
One year ago Thursday, the Ravens were 4-2 ahead of a massive game against the Seahawks, a game that eventually helped turn the season into the dominant one it became. So with the trade deadline approaching, they swung a deal for Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters.
Just a few days later, a large part of the win in Seattle was credited to Peters, whose 67-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Ravens a 13-10 lead and helped propel the Ravens into the bye week with a 5-2 record. They used that confidence to springboard themselves to a 14-2 regular season on the back of their talented secondary.
The Ravens only sent backup inside linebacker Kenny Young and a 2020 fifth-round draft choice to the Rams for Peters in a deal that looks even better with time.
“I knew that there was a discussion, but I found out about that discussion right before we got him,” Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale recalled Thursday. “I think anytime you talk about adding a player of that caliber,  interceptions now over his career, you’re fired up. I think the only one that was happier was Chris Hewitt and Jesse Minter, the secondary coaches.”
Since becoming a Raven last October, Peters has played in 15 regular season games, signed a three-year extension to stay in Baltimore and been named a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro.
Over those 15 games, Peters has scored two touchdowns and forced five interceptions. This year, paired with fellow Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey, he’s allowed a completion percentage of 64.3, according to Pro Football Reference.
Peters was lauded for his football intelligence when he arrived in Baltimore, and so far he's proven that reputation correct. He’s been able to make standout defensive plays time and time again, as he and Humphrey make up likely the NFL’s best one-two punch at cornerback.
“It was one of those things that you don’t know a guy until he gets here,” Martindale continued. “And every day, I’m happier because I got to know the guy. What a great person he is, what a great player he is. He wants to do all the right things and he wants to be a leader on this defense, and he is.”