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January 17, 2009

Peppers tells Panthers he wants new team

   Julius Peppers wants out.
   After declining to say since training camp whether he wants to remain with the Carolina Peppers, the Pro Bowl defensive end announced late Friday night through his agent that he wants a change of scenery.
   "The front office has been informed of my desire to explore opportunities with other NFL teams following the expiration of my contract next month," Peppers said in a statement released to ESPN through his agent, Carl Carey. "At this point in my career, I am seeking new challenges that will allow me to grow, develop and reach my personal potential on the football field.
   "I strongly feel that making a move at this time is in my best interest. I appreciate the entire Panthers organization and am thankful for the seven seasons I've spent with the team."
   Carolina officials and Carey couldn't be reached for comment.
   The Panthers have tried for more than a year to sign Peppers, who turns 29 Sunday, to a long-term contract extension that would have made him the NFL's highest paid defensive player, but he never agreed to terms.
   He told area reporters, including from the Observer, last Sunday as he was leaving Bank of America Stadium that he didn't want to "cripple" himself or the Panthers and wanted what's best for both parties. 
   The Panthers have the option to put the franchise tag on Peppers and could force him to try to play for a one-year tender of $17 million.
   They also could franchise him and trade him to another team. The Minnesota Vikings aquired defensive end Jared Allen from Kansas City last year in exchange for a first-round pick and two third-roundders.
   Carey told ESPN that Peppers wouldn't change his mind.
   "Julius is firm in his decision that he needs a change," Carey said. "He feels that he can thrive in another system. While he has been selected to four Pro Bowls and designated as an All-Pro during his career, he feels that he has yet to develop to his full potential. This is the case of a great player who seeks to become an elite one."
   Peppers led the Panthers with a career high 14 1/2 sacks this season and holds the franchise record with 70 1/2. Carolina obtained him with the second pick of the 2002 draft after his college career at North Carolina.
  -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on January 17, 2009 at 01:10 AM | Permalink


WOW...didnt really see this coming. Personally Julius is my favorite Panther...but i made a promise to myself after my Mariners traded Griffey Jr. years back that i wouldnt get attached to players anymore, i would root for whoever wore the jersey of my teams. With that said i'm still a bit saddened by this. I would hope we get something in return for him...it would soften the blow alot if we could get back in the first round atleast.

Good Luck Pep...i'll miss ya

Posted by: Bronx Mike | Jan 17, 2009 1:24:12 AM

Man, I mean i kind of saw it coming, but gee wizz. We'll miss you Julius. I figured you'd wanna stay with us, in your hometown. Guess not. Good luck. You'll always be a Panther. Just don't do what Muhammad did and come back just to retire here.

Posted by: Brandon | Jan 17, 2009 1:30:32 AM

Well I think we all saw this coming. There is no way the Panthers will let him go for nothing. Expect to see the franchise tag placed on him like it or not and get a 1st round and at least two 3rds for him (What the Vikings gave up for J. Allen this past year). If Peppers wants to hold out because of it, you take that risk and make him sit and fine him, but there is no way you let him go for nothing.

If anything this at least clears up the attention they need to address with Gross and other possible free agents. It is dissapointing that Peppers doesn't want to be here anymore, but it may be the best for both sides. We need pass rushers with a motor and are determiined to create havoc in the backfield. There is no question that Peppers is an all around player, and one of the best DE's in the league, but the problem was you never knew when was he going to show up. If you could put Brayton's or Johnson's motor in Peppers body, watch out!

He is still going to get a hefty contract, if not the richest DE contract in history so I wish him the best in the future and even though he may be wearing different colors next year, he will always be a Panther.

This is the official start of rebuilding our defense. There is no question our main interest this offseason is the defensive line. Beason this is definately without question your Team now. REPRESENT keep doing what you are doing and the others will follow. Go Panthers!!

Posted by: panther fan | Jan 17, 2009 1:32:10 AM

good1 we will see

Posted by: robbyc | Jan 17, 2009 1:34:00 AM

Disappointed to see he wants to leave. But hey, he's EXTREMELY valuable and can get us enough to keep us a good D. But we need to make IMO, one big move in free agency on D for a big name. We NEVER go after a big name, time for a change. Tired of the same stuff. We need a new DC. And Fox needs to make a change on D if he stays too. THIS WILL BE OUR BIGGEST OFF SEASON IN PANTHER HISTORY

And trade him to the AFC, NOT NFC. Thats dumb

Posted by: jake the snake | Jan 17, 2009 1:35:57 AM

How come? All yall fans been saying and wanting him to go....talking all that noise about him not stepping up and him not playing up to his potential and not getting to Warner the last game....Well looks as if all of you will get your wishes...all yall crazy to me...talk your way out of this one... I love you Pep...man u dont have to go especially looking like we have a great shot a returning to the playoffs and revenge that terrible lost...Pep is hurt by all the negativity in Charlotte by the fans constant rant about his play and leadership....They say be careful what you wish for...I just hope Pep for your sake that the team that does take you they wound up not making the playoffs and we end up winning the Super Bowl...Or we face him and he lose...that will hurt even more...But espect 3 draft picks from a team and then 100 or more millions to sign him for 6 years..I knew it should have been done during the bye week before the Cards, Hurney what were you doing...should have made a stand to sign before all this...now he has the upper hand...at the moment;)...I laugh at Charlotte sometimes at how you treat your own beloved players... Dont let it fall apart Richardson...I can only imagine what Steve feels and Gamble and Harris and Beason...his trenchers...the guys he goes to war with.....yall seen it coming dont act like you didnt...You fake fans and complainers brought it on yourselves...

Posted by: Panther Fan PEP | Jan 17, 2009 1:41:42 AM

pep is the 1st player u think about on carolinas d. he is a great player and without him i think were juss a regular d. i am upset he wants to leave but if he does carolina better tag him then trade him. if they juss let him walk their not 2 smart.
i look forward to next year, lets go panthers!!!

Posted by: adam | Jan 17, 2009 1:41:49 AM

Come to the Falcons Julius, you'll be appreciated here. Wouldn't you love to play opposite John Abraham? We have a great offense with a shiny new QB in Matt Ryan, 2 great RB's in Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood and the incredible Roddy White, Michael Jenkins and Harry Douglas.

You're not too far from home and you can burn your old team twice a year. Come on down Peppers, the Falcons need you!

Posted by: FalconFan | Jan 17, 2009 1:41:59 AM

Panthers will never get a 1st and two 3rds for Peppers. Peppers is good but Allen is better.. According to ESPN he doesn't want the team to franchise him.. The Panthers will be extremely lucky to get a 2nd rounder for him. Good luck, you'll need it.

Posted by: FalconFan | Jan 17, 2009 1:43:59 AM

Come to the Falcons Julius, I know you'll love playing opposite John Abraham. Then you can burn your old team twice a year.

Posted by: FalconFan | Jan 17, 2009 1:45:01 AM

Everette Brown here we come..Fox knows all to well not to trade him in the division nor to a team we play next year...look at Bertrant Barry and Tommy Harris his nemisis:)

Posted by: PFan | Jan 17, 2009 1:59:26 AM

Bertrand Barry or Tommy Harris...draft Everette Brown....Fox wont do that in the same division..

Posted by: yes | Jan 17, 2009 2:02:21 AM

Got get Dre Bly let good Lucas go and Hackett...and now go get Torry Holt..

Posted by: Panthers | Jan 17, 2009 2:05:21 AM

Allen better than Pep? You're an idiot. Pep can do way more than things than Allen. Pep would fit perfect in a 3-4, playing a end or a linebacker. A man that size playing linebacker, are you serious. He can catch and intercept passes as a LB, run the pass as a LB and DE. Block field goals. Pep is a freak of nature if used right would be outstanding. How dare you say ALLEN is BETTER. Its not even a opinion. Dont come in here with that, stick with Falcons news

Posted by: jake the snake | Jan 17, 2009 2:08:14 AM

Does anyone else see Peppers wanting to leave Carolina maybe because he is sick of dropping into coverage and playing a base defense all the time??????? The panthers offered to make pep one of the richest DE's in the game. He isn't asking for money, he wants a system he can flourish in. Now don't get me wrong, he does take plays off and lacks the true "killer instinct" that some of the best have, but I don't blame the guy for wanting to play for a coach that would put him in positions to dominate. I love Pep and will be sad to see him in another jersey, but EVERYONE needs to realize that this is a stab at the current coaching staff and nothing else.

Posted by: Foxxy's an idiot | Jan 17, 2009 2:30:25 AM

Told ya! I won't miss that egocentric sand-bagger the slightest bit. Him and his kind are what kill professional sports for fans. May he end up with a career ending injury this coming preseason. Good riddance.

Posted by: Keeping It Real | Jan 17, 2009 4:13:31 AM

love the guy....and 14.5 sacks looks great on paper...but he never shows up when it counts...sure hope we can get our 1st rd pick back for him

Posted by: kris anderson | Jan 17, 2009 5:28:50 AM

As a Panther fan and a Peppers fan. I agree with FalconFan, Allen is better. He is almost unblockable one on one. Peppers gets handled by lesser OTs and even TEs. He's not worth the huge contract he or his agent thinks he's worth. I agree that he is a freak of talent for a DE but he's a media built superstar. I love the NFL and ESPN but ESPN has built up so many "video stars" that it's hard for the common fan to see stats aren't all there is to being a good/great player. I think Pep has the heart and talent but I question his mental game. He has gotten by on talent for so long he doesn't seem prepared to adjust to how teams are attacking him. The truely great players use their brains to augment their skills. It stinks that he wants to leave, I'm a homer type of person. So I want root against you but I waited a long time for Carolina to get a NFL team and I only wish I could have had a chance to play for them at league minimum much less overpayed for 7 yrs. Good luck and oh yea, go to Atl so Otah can crush you twice a year, it'll be fun to see.

Posted by: Gmac | Jan 17, 2009 6:09:13 AM

How many sacks did Maake Kemoeatu have since joining the Panthers? ;)

Posted by: plaincrash | Jan 17, 2009 6:34:50 AM

Another indictment of Trgovac/Fox defensive system,aside from losing. I think Pep has been waiting this week just like a bunch of us to see if Fox would bring in a DC that imploys a more aggressive/pressure type of system. No such luck. Fox and Co are milking this gig as long as they can.

Watch what Jim Johnson(Eagles DC)does to Kurt Warner on Sunday.

Posted by: jeff | Jan 17, 2009 7:34:43 AM

You knew this shit was coming.They should trade Jake sorry ass. Also if they fired Mr.Gruden they need to fire John Fox ass somebody need to park a U-Haul truck outside his house. But we all know as long as Fox is there so is Jake so fire both there sorry asses. The Gm is slowly messing this team up. When Mr.Smith wents to leave there goes the team.Carolina is slowly F%#*ing up.

Posted by: Mad Ass Hell | Jan 17, 2009 8:53:45 AM

Hey I'm sure my Niners would love to have him! We got a great QB that is just sitting around and was a former #1 pick in Alex Smith. How bout a straight up trade!

Posted by: Stephen | Jan 17, 2009 8:55:08 AM

I am so sad with this news! I love JP! My boys wear his jerseys. We are Carolina fans to the bone, setting in our BoA seats though every game for the last few years. I feel like I have been stabbed in the heart by a friend. JP is one of the most important parts of our team & for him to want to leave us? WHY? What can he get from another team that we cannot do for him? What ever it is Marty Hurney should do it or be fired for letting this happen! I will cry if I see Peppers in another teams uniform! It's a sad day in Carolina....

Posted by: MrsSoBelle | Jan 17, 2009 8:56:14 AM

I 'm not mad at Julius, for this *%@% ass defensive coordinator to put this team in a bad position year after year and down the season not adjust, I would be mad as hell to. See a team takes on the personality of their coach. "It is what it is" is a coach with a mediocre mindset. I wish Julius well and he will flourish in a new system. When Del Rio was here, our defense was blazing, but Fox's blinded loyalty will cost him his job!!!!

Posted by: Blackpaw 09 | Jan 17, 2009 10:16:58 AM

Glad to finally get it all out in the open. Negotiate a deal with another AFC team and move on.

This says a lot about our system though. It's so much that he wants a 3-4 as it is he wants to be used in a creative and aggressive manner. Could you imagine #90 with the Ravens, Pittsburgh, Tennessee or San Diego. He'd be a pass rushing terror. As it is today, there's no one or position on the Panthers defense that scares anyone. Maybe Beason but you don't worry about him on every down because he's not going to blitz and there's no pressure coming from the front 4 anyway.

Like or not, it's time for Fox to change his tendencies.

Posted by: wynton | Jan 17, 2009 11:30:37 AM

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