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Panthers to Sign Gross and Move Peppers?

Plenty of talk about what the Panthers are going to do when it comes to Jordan Gross and Julius Peppers, and one option according to today’s Gaston Gazette is to simply sign Gross and move Peppers. Here is the report.

While Jordan Gross and Julius Peppers are preparing for this week’s Pro Bowl in Honolulu their future with, or perhaps without, the Panthers could begin to take shape this week. Both stars are due to become unrestricted free agents on Feb. 27 and the Panthers have the option to put the franchise tag on one of them at some point between Thursday and Feb. 19.

However, the Panthers can only franchise one player, which means it’s possible they’ll be forced to let the other one walk out the door – without any compensation – if they can’t reach a long-term contract with one of them. The ideal scenario for Carolina general manager Marty Hurney would be to sign both players to long-term contracts.

But Peppers’ disclosure after the season that he doesn’t want to play for the Panthers likely preclude that from happening, absent a serious change of heart from the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end. Given Peppers’ preference to leave, it seems the next best move for the Panthers is to sign Gross to a long-term contract, thus allowing them to put the franchise tag on Peppers and work out a trade with another team. At least under that scenario the Panthers would be able to get some draft picks and/or players in return for Peppers.

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