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January 17, 2009

Peppers' wish to go leaves Panthers with critical decision

   So what will the Panthers do about Julius Peppers’ strongly-expressed desire to continue his playing career elsewhere?

   Peppers and agent Carl Carey have left no doubt about how much Peppers wants to move on to another team, so any hope Carolina had of signing him to a long-term extension seems gone.

   That leaves the Panthers with three options:

   (x) Allow him to become an unrestricted free agent and watch him go to another team without receiving any compensation. It’s hard to imagine that happening, right?

   Well, that could depend upon whether the Panthers reach a long-term agreement with all-pro left tackle Jordan Gross before free agency opens. Gross already has said he hopes to stay with Carolina. If he doesn't have a deal done before free agency opens, perhaps the Panthers would consider it best to franchise Gross instead of Peppers.

    (x) Put the franchise tag on Peppers and call his bluff, essentially trying to force him to play under a one-year tender for $17 million. The big issue with that scenario is Peppers has to sign the tender.

   (x) Put the franchise tag on him and trade him to another team. The Kansas City Chiefs traded a top defensive end it had franchised, Jared Allen, before last year's draft to Minnesota  for a first-round pick (the 17th overall selection) plus two third-rounders.

   For the latter scenario to work, Peppers would have to find a team he wants to play for and that team must be willing to meet the Panthers’ trade demands.

   Peppers is said to like the city of Houston. That's where Carey lives. The Houston Texans already have a top defensive end in Mario Wlliams of N.C. State. If the Texans are interested in pairing Williams and Peppers, they have the 15th pick in the first round to open a trade conversation.

   In a trade scenario, however, the Panthers have to be concerned about receiving anything close to matching Peppers’ value. How much they could receive could depend on how many teams are interested, and how many of those teams Peppers is interested in playing for.

   Here are some key dates as this process unfolds: The window for the Panthers franchising Peppers opens Feb. 5 and ends on Feb. 19. His contract expires Feb. 26. The free agency signing period, and the trading period, opens on Feb. 27.

   Stay tuned. This figures to get plenty interesting in the days and weeks ahead.

   -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on January 17, 2009 at 03:06 AM | Permalink


Pep was born and bred outta NC and he wants to leave?!! U gotta franchise Pep and trade him no matter how little ur gonna get. Atleast u get something rather than just releasing him into free agency. It hurts to see Pep want to leave, but I bleed Carolina Blue and Pep obviously doesn't. If He wants to leave, then good riddance. Too much worrying about the name on the back of the jerseys nowadays! Gotta trade him though and soften the blow. Damn this last month, 1st the Panthers get embarassed on national TV and now I gotta deal with a pillar of the team wanting out. Cmooooon

Posted by: Panthe R ican | Jan 17, 2009 3:23:24 AM

This makes me wonder why Peppers really wants to leave. What does he mean by the system? Does he think he will perform better in a 3 - 4 defense? Does he not respect the Panthers coaches?

Posted by: Sheldon | Jan 17, 2009 4:15:54 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. Jordan Gross(ly) over-hyped is next. If Peppers really doesn't want to hurt the Panthers, he signs a bogus contract with the Panthers and then gets traded. That allows the team to franchise Gross so they can trade him Mr. False Start too.

Peppers should be traded to the Patriots for Matt Cassell. Gross should be traded for whatever they can get (hopefully a first rounder in this year's draft).

Posted by: Keeping It Real | Jan 17, 2009 4:22:36 AM

at this point it's pretty evident he doesn't like our soft zone scheme that we've ran the last few years. I don't think anyone on the defense does. It's not fun to be a de and not be in an aggressive defense.

Posted by: tim.. | Jan 17, 2009 4:24:58 AM

I really think this would be an opportune time to let go of Tyrgovac.How many more signs do need?Last year Jenkins and now Peppers?Its rather obvious thats theres little respect for Trygovac.Im sorry but i believe hes had plenty of time to build a curtain and plenty of talent to do so.Lets put some new spirit in that Clubhouse!Panthers if your listening nows the time.Who knows,maybe Grudens pissed enough to come def coor for us to get back at Tampa for there idiocracy.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 17, 2009 5:49:34 AM

btw-2 tackles-0 hurries-0 sacks=Julius peppers against the Cardinals...that hurts in more way than one.If you were a GM that has alotta play in negotiations and value for the recieving end.I really dont think i could justify a 1st and even a 3rd round pick on top of paying him big money.Maybe Julius does care for the Panthers and is tired of taking from The Richardsons and would rather have someone he doesnt care pay him all that money for lackluster play-in that case Thank you Mr.Peppers and good day sir!

Posted by: Steve | Jan 17, 2009 5:59:09 AM

get rid of turgo , peppers will stay!!! wake up fox it is what it is.

Posted by: Scott | Jan 17, 2009 6:46:41 AM

Most of us on the Observer Forum said he wanted out last year. We have to franchise the sleepy smiley tool, trade him and get some draft picks in return but do not let him leave without something in return. It's kind of funny, I don't believe he knows how good he's got it here. He's a local and the fans forgave a lot of inconsistent play from him. Fans from other teams will call him what he is "lazy"!

Posted by: K7 | Jan 17, 2009 6:47:11 AM

I am not suprised, Peps wont make All Star in Carolina in the current system so he want to leave to have a chance (not saying he will make it elsewhere either but he will have a larger chance). The Viks let Allen rush far outside a lot of times leave the area inside him totally unprotected against the run. I guess Peps whats the same oppertunity.

Peps have a lot talking for him but I think he lacks the motor of Allen, so I think we are looking at tops a 2nd and a 4th for him. Still thats a deal I would take. If we sign a veteran run stuffer at aroud $4 million and draft a speedy passing down guys (possibly an OLB) I think we are ok and have plus $10 million to upgrade elsewhere (or resign Gross).

Posted by: Thorrez | Jan 17, 2009 6:49:11 AM

To add, thanks for another smack in the face. Getting embarrassed by Arizona was not enough? "it is what it is" "we pick a bad day to have a bad game" It's time the Panthers start respecting their fans. I know the fans here are not the best in the world but I truly believe most of us love this team.

Posted by: K7 | Jan 17, 2009 6:52:59 AM

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."

read the article he doesn't really want to leave he wants a system that allows him to be agressive and get lots of sacks so that the fans will get off his a**, he ids tired of hearing our whining from the fans and the media. FIRE TURGO NOW!!!!!!! get someone that knows how to call a blitz!!!!!

Posted by: Scott | Jan 17, 2009 6:54:41 AM

Why do fans always want a scapegoat? "Turgo" calls the games as he is told to, believe Fox has his hands all over the defense. "Turgo" does what he is told.

Posted by: K7 | Jan 17, 2009 7:04:12 AM

Exactly K7. Turgo has to answer to Fox, Fox has the overall say so. Look at Peppers numbers and his accomplishments and you would think those are great numbers yet he says he cant "thrive" in this system. Peppers is 29 and not getting younger, hes taking his lazy, unenthused play and blaming the system. Goodbye Mr Peppers, may we get a first round pick in return and possibly more!

Posted by: marvel | Jan 17, 2009 7:26:52 AM

let him go to Dancing With the Stars, thats what he does most plays nowadays

Posted by: tim | Jan 17, 2009 7:52:08 AM

C'mon PEp don't do this to us. As fans we are not stupid. We know that Turgo is using you inappropriately and there as been no decent complements since the arrival of Harris and Beason. You are not alone and I was one of your many fans would say, STAY! They will give you the money. You as a premier player can demand they change it up. The Panthers are so close to achieving the supreme goal but for some reason we cannot get over that hump! I would hate to see you go but wherever you go, I will always be a fan! Good luck Bro! I've enjoyed watching you smash guys in college, dunk of defenders in college and get after the quarterback on Sundays. You have been good to Carolina but the Managment hasn't been good to you. They just can't throw money to you and expect that to fix it! You are a winner and the current management are not focused on making decisions to win.

Posted by: Sam | Jan 17, 2009 7:59:11 AM

Peppers is a chump, what a disgusting display of being a local of NC, he wants to leave? Fine, let him, I hope he turns into the most medicore DE in NFL History, what a F*%#(# A$$(%(@*% I cant believe he has the nerve to leave the team that Fing gave him everything! Im ripping down my signed jersy and my fathead, I hope he has an awful career from now on the friggen turncoat ass bastard.

Posted by: Derek | Jan 17, 2009 8:43:23 AM

I said on this forum last week that Peppers wants to go to Houston and some moron said I didn't know football. Right.
The answer is sign Gross and franchise Peppers then trade him for the best deal we can get. Hopefullly a first round pick and a couple of thirds. Wherever Peppers goes he will have a great first season then he will become the inconsistent head case he has been here the past 4 years.

Posted by: Jim | Jan 17, 2009 8:53:21 AM

Trading Pep is the ONLY option we have. Trgo should be fired. Everyone knows this but Fox apparantly. Pep was poorly utilized it's true, but he also didn't show the fire needed to be an elite player. They should find numerous teams willing to give up a first and second rounder for Pep. I think we need to retool the defense with young, hungry players who have something to prove. Gross is overrated but should stay. His false starts are correctable.

Posted by: gradyhog | Jan 17, 2009 8:58:55 AM

It has been evident to me Peppers hasn't wanted to be on this team for a couple years. He is a underachiever and very inconsistent. He disappears in games and was easily handled by many offensive tackles this year

Like any of us,he should be free to take his services elsewhere.

Too much guaranteed mony is killing the NFL.
There is no loyalty to a team. A formula should be developed that you get so much for a win, so much a loss.Paid for production. Some players would owe Jerry Richardson money and a few should return some of their millions for not showing up every game.

More incentives for the post season, Pro Bowl, etc...Pay them well, but make them earn it.

That's what we do in the real world.

The money professional athletes make for playing a game has really made me a much bigger fan and follower of the NCAA.

Posted by: DK | Jan 17, 2009 9:03:42 AM

I think this has very little to do with football, just like I think his slump last year had very little to do with an injury. Peppers seems like a quiet, moody guy, and shows a lot of indications of being clinically depressed and probably does need a change of scenery where people don't view him as a savior and wants to just blend in. Sometimes pr consultants give fans and other teams a reason they will understand, or at least not challenge, and will help his contract, like "This is a case of great player wanting to become an elite one." That's agent speak, because you don't want other teams thinking he's just emotionally tired. Who wants to pay premium money for someone who doesn't eat and breathe football. Maybe he doesn't. you see this a lot in basketball. Maybe he's like all those basketball centers who have tons of talent, but just want to be left alone.

Posted by: David | Jan 17, 2009 9:14:39 AM

People, if he wants to leave, then let him leave...as long as the Panthers don't just let him walk without getting anything for him, that'd just be irresponsible.
IMO, it's pretty selfish of the fans to feel like someone has to stay somewhere because the public (that has typically criticized him for his work ethic) wants him to stay.

Posted by: Jameson | Jan 17, 2009 9:27:49 AM

This is a statement about our coaching - if Fox and Trgovac were not so incompetent he wouldnt want to leave. If we got rid of them he would probably change his mind.
Otherwise the Chiefs got a 1s rd and two 3rd rd picks for Jared Allen, we should look at getting something close to that in value for him

Posted by: Ben | Jan 17, 2009 9:29:40 AM

I think Peppers would be more effective as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system. I don't think he is worth the money he would cost. I think the Panthers have to go to a more aggressive defensive scheme. A 3-4 or a blitzing 4-3 scheme. This sitting back trying to rush with 4 just doesn't work. You have to pressure the quarterback. The embarrassing loss really brings up questions of the philosophy and decision making of John Fox. Giving up on the run so early in the game was a killer. Not pressuring Warner or shutting down Fitzgerald obviously didn't work.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 17, 2009 9:47:22 AM

Peppers is a head case. He doesn't love football and he doesn't have the motivation needed to be a premier player. He is a big, dumb, goofy guy with freakish athletic talents who will never live up to his potential. Fortunatley for the Panthers the NFL has plenty of GM's and coaches who will ignore these obvious traits and buy into his agents BS that Peppers needs a different system to really shine. They will watch the game tapes where Peppers dominated the game but will fail to watch the tapes where he was blocked one on one by a TE. You know who won't be interested in Peppers? Bill Belichick. We need to trade Peppers for the best deal we can get and use the cap money that makes available to sign some motivated, hungry football players.

Posted by: Jim | Jan 17, 2009 9:54:39 AM

Glad to finally see mr. "take the next play /season off" finally open up our ability to replenish our underachieving D-line. After he signs this next one I expect his stats to drop off just like he has the two prior seasons.

Posted by: Jeff | Jan 17, 2009 10:05:16 AM

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