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June 13, 2007

Re-sign Gross, Peppers? We're still waiting

   For months now, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has been saying he expects Jordan Gross and Julius Peppers to sign long-term contract extensions. Richardson included Steve Smith in that list when he first talked about the topic at the annual NFL meeting in Phoenix in late March. But Smith since has been taken care of with a deal that locks him up through 2012.

   Richarson made another statement about Gross and Peppers a couple weeks ago when they were among five players (Jake Delhomme, Smith and DeShaun Foster were the others) selected to go on a mountain retreat with the owner.

   Read into it what you want, but it’s pretty obvious Richardson’s intent was to let the players know he views them as critical leaders as players like Mike Minter and Mike Rucker near the end of their careers.

   “That’s a point he made, that we’ve got a lot of leaders on this team who have been leaders for a long time,’’ Gross said Wednesday. “He was kind of letting us know what he expects us to do now and try to take the reins a little bit.’’

   Peppers remains under contract through 2008 and Gross is entering the last season of his initial contract. Gross didn’t appear to be too worried about his future when asked about his contract situation.

   “I’m on the team this year and they don’t have to do anything until the season’s over if they don’t need to,’’ Gross said. “I like it here. I enjoy this team. We’ll see what happens.’’

   But Gross said he wouldn’t mind getting a new deal done before training camp starts in late July.

   “It would be nice,’’ Gross said. “I’d like to just so you don’t have to worry about it. I’m not the type of guy that wants to draw anything out or make a big fuss over anything. But, yeah, it would be a little more difficult during the season because you’ve got a lot more on your plate.’’


There's always tomorrow

   When defensive tackle Kris Jenkins didn’t show up for the first day of voluntary workouts three weeks ago, general manager Marty Hurney didn’t sound too concerned. At the time, Hurney even said Jenkins could show up “tomorrow.’’

   A lot of tomorrows have come and gone since then and Jenkins still hasn’t surfaced and, if history holds true, the Panthers probably will end workouts Thursday.

   His agent has said Jenkins is in Maryland tending to family business. His agent has also said Jenkins will be at training camp.

   We’ll believe it when we see it.


End of the road?

   The recreational vehicles that have been a home away from home for the offensive linemen during training camp in recent years are likely a thing of the past. Former center Jeff Mitchell started the trend when he bought an RV and parked it in a Wofford College training camp for a month a few years back. Even with Mitchell gone, the linemen continued the tradition with a borrowed RV last year.

   But Gross said Wednesday those days are probably over.

   “We might switch it to a room with some bean-bag chairs and stuff,’’ Gross said. “The RV gets kind of tight with all the big guys in it.’’

   Gross said the lineman are working on securing a room to use on the Wofford campus for their afternoon rest periods.

Posted by Observer Sports on June 13, 2007 at 02:09 PM | Permalink


Hey, I've looked and can't find a training camp schedule. I'm in Charleston and there is hardly a shred of Panthers news down here so yall keep me informed. I'm trying to get some friends up to Spartanburg for a day or two at camp but can't find a schedule anywhere, is there one already?

Posted by: drew | Jun 13, 2007 3:57:18 PM

I am a chucktown boy as well drew. We have just made plans to be there the weekend on 7/28. they will be in camp by then but I don't know what the official schedule is yet. I don't think it has been released.

Posted by: WOWO | Jun 13, 2007 4:37:25 PM

Uh, I wouldn't put Pep and Gross in the same category, not by a long shot.

Posted by: JAT | Jun 13, 2007 6:19:38 PM

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