Peppers May Very Well Stay in Carolina After All

Despite the recent talk of a move to the Pats or elsewhere, there seems to be a thought that the Panthers may keep DE Julius Peppers. ProFootballWeekly talks about it:

Although a recent report suggested the Panthers were discussing a trade of DE Julius Peppers to the Patriots for the 34th overall pick in the draft, sources in Carolina say the Panthers would need a trade package with much more value than that to even consider dealing Peppers. We hear Carolina is committed to keeping Peppers, even while he sucks up cap space with a one-year tender offer worth $16.683 million. GM Marty Hurney has gone about his business this offseason as if Peppers’ salary would be on the books for 2009, and, if need be, Hurney could clear space to sign draft picks by restructuring the deals of other players, including QB Jake Delhomme, who carries a hefty cap figure of $11 million for ’09.

Sources say the Panthers are not panicking about the situation with Peppers and still do not want to lose him. While Peppers said he wanted to play for a different team next season, he hasn’t been all that critical of the organization publicly or made threats that he’ll sit out should he not be dealt. Unless some other club presents the Panthers with a deal similar to what the Chiefs received from the Vikings for Jared Allen last offseason (a first-round pick and two third-rounders), trading Peppers is not an option the Panthers are likely to consider. Even with a deal similar to the Allen trade on the table, there’s no guarantee that Carolina would take it because it’s serious about keeping Peppers.

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