Panthers and Peppers With a Tough Decision to Make


2007 was not the best of years for the Panthers and Julius Peppers, as it seemed the defensive stud took a step back this past season.  Now because of it there are rumblings that the team may let him play out his contract and not sign him to a long-term deal like the kind that Colts DE Dwight Freeney signed before this past season, which was for 7 years at $72 million, $30 mil of which was in guaranteed money.

Of course Peppers’ agent, Carl Carey, thinks that Peppers is still one of the best in the game at his position, and said so much Monday to the Gaston Gazette.  “Julius is the same player he’s always been,” Carey said Monday. “Any speculation contrary to that is not correct in our minds. He had five extremely productive seasons prior to this year and we know he’s still the same player he’s always been. It doesn’t matter externally what anyone else thinks.”

He did have five very good and productive years, but in the world of the NFL, it’s like the old Janet Jackson song – “What Have you Done for Me Lately,” and for the Panthers, they may have a different take on just how good Peppers is after this past season.  He had just three sacks, 55 tackles and played in only 12 games due to injury.  This after he averaged 10.7 sacks his first five solid years in the league with Carolina.

The risk for the Panthers is signing him to a long-term deal with huge money involved.  It’s a risk since the team is $14 mil under the cap, and with a huge deal to Peppers it would eat much of that up.  The guess is that the team will try to get him in at the old “hometown discount” but from the way Carey is talking, that will be easier said than done.  When he’s on, Peppers can take a game over.  We saw that plenty in his first five years, but not much at all in 2007.

So what do the Panthers do?  My guess is they try to strike a deal they think is fair and will not kill their salary situation.  If they can’t meet somewhere halfway, Peppers can always be franchised, but then there’s the risk of him being unhappy and holding out.  It will be an interesting dilemma to see play out for the Panthers as the offseason continues.

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5 Responses to “Panthers and Peppers With a Tough Decision to Make”

  1. roger says:

    they will keep pep because he is the best player we got

  2. christian carier says:

    Peppers i love your play and know u will have a better year and if the panthers franchis u i think thay should and if thay do after 08-09 season if u do GOOD and u will i know u can and will u will git the money to and u will have everthing a DE would like and i would like u to stay in Carolian

    the PANTHERS are #1

  3. Vince Hall says:

    Julius Peppers is one of the staples of the Panthers’ defense. Julius has been a dominant force over the years and had a bad year last year. Fact of the matter is this: Julius was unhappy last season and as a result of it, I don’t think he put forth the effort to be the player he has been the previous seasons past. He showed glimpses of it here and there but it was sporadic at best. Julius is clearly upset with his contract and then to be put on the spot and throw a “C” patch on his jersey, demand he be a voice for the defense (when he’s clearly a quiet player), and not pay him??? Any Panthers fan knows that a happy Julius is a stark raving mad sack machine machine which every quarterback in the league fears. I say pay him and watch him become happy again as well as productive. Truthfully (and if you think about it), does any reader out there truly believe that Maurice Jones-Drew could stop Julius if he wanted to get around him??? Enough said!!! Peppers is better than Freeney, stronger, taller, and more versatile. If something isn’t done to keep Julius and keep him happy, Carolina will let yet another valuable piece of their team slip through their fingers to a team that’s knows talent (and what it takes to win) when they see it. I’m out!!! Gooo Panthers!!!

  4. brady miller says:

    I dont know about best player we got…cause Steve Smith is, but he is the best DE we got for the simple fact he is the best DE in the game!!! If they dont keep him, then I would strongely reconsider the coaching staff!!

  5. Brent says:

    Well we will be the dumbest team in the league to let such a young talented beast go to a team such as the patriots cowboys or even the colts. He is the best and the best will go after him. We need to show Pep loyality and keep him in Carolina. Make him happy and he will keep us happy. Look how much our defense suffered because he was playing like he always did in past seasons. We dont need to shoot ourselves in the foot and let him go over to another team and let them exploit his talent cause they can and will

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