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January 29, 2009

Putting a Peppers tag in perspective

According to figures released today by the NFL Players Association, the Carolina Panthers would have to pay Julius Peppers more than $7.6 million more than the average franchise tender amount for defensive ends in order to keep him for the 2009 season under a franchise tag.

The collective bargaining agreement requires teams who franchise players to give then one-year tender offers of an average of the top five 2008 salary cap figures of players at the position, or a 20 percent raise over their '08 salary, whichever is greater.

Peppers falls under the latter category. His $13.9025 million cap number for '08 was more than $5 million more than any other defensive end and fifth highest in the NFL behind only quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers.

Since the '09 franchise tender amount for defensive ends (average of top five salaries) is $8.991 million, Peppers' tender would be $16.683 million, reflecting the 20 percent raise.

That tender for Peppers is more than the franchise tender amount for quarterbacks, $14.651 million.

The Panthers face a dilemma about how to handle Peppers' request to move to another team. His contract is due to expire Feb. 26 and his agent has said he won't sign a long-term extension with the Panthers, either now or in the future. The team has the option to franchise Peppers between Feb. 5-19 to either try to get him to play in 2009 under the tender amount, or to trade him.

The numbers released today show just how expensive keeping Peppers would be.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on January 29, 2009 at 05:31 PM | Permalink


Doesn't matter how much the franchise tender is, only that Carolina will place it in him because they have no choice. There is no way they just let him walk, but there is also no way he puts on the Panther gear again, either. So the franchise tender is just Carolina's way of getting something in trade while the details are worked out. Gonna miss you, Pep, but I gotta say that I'm also disappointed that you are jumping ship just when it looks like things are again going our way. Carolina will be a contender again next year, and I hope you enjoy watching it from your home in Cleveland, or wherever you land.

Posted by: Panthers Dan | Jan 29, 2009 6:02:13 PM

"His $13.9025 million cap number for '08 was more than $5 million more than any other defensive end..."

14 1/2 sacks, but can you name 1 of them that came when we really needed it or that changed a game? Half were against Oakland, Detroit, Denver and Green Bay.... two bad teams and two in late season free falls.

Posted by: Dave | Jan 29, 2009 6:05:10 PM

If a player wants to leave then by all means let him go...offering more money does not buy his loyalty or his inner spirit longing for a trade! Free Peppers...

Posted by: theresa fritscher | Jan 29, 2009 6:13:21 PM

We need some facts here about just how this system works. If we franchise Pep at $17 million? Does the team who gets him have to pay him "17 million or sign him to a long term deal? Either way, stay or go, Peppers would be crazy stupid not to take the $17 million for one year and then seek a long term contract. Before anyone can say sign him and then trade him for draft choices, the details of such a move need to be clearly understood. So far no so-called "REPORTER" has been able to tell us exactly the ramifications of what would happen under each decision.

Posted by: charlesbright | Jan 29, 2009 6:21:04 PM

This $17 million is all Hurney's fault...fact!!! Everytime we need cap space for other players, Hurney would approach Peppers to re-do his contract to create the space needed. The same situation that took place with Tennessee and Steve Mcnair. I don't care what Pep and his agent say, he loves Carolina, it is home for him. Offer him 7yr/$85 million/ $45 guaranteed and he signs it!!! WORTH EVERY PENNY!

Posted by: charlie | Jan 29, 2009 6:45:52 PM

The Panthers do NOT have to trade Peppers. I know its unrealistic and crazy, but we can Franchise Pep this year for $17 million and then franchise Pep again next year for about $24 million. I know its crazy and not possible because of cap purposes. However, that would be $41 million over two years. No one makes that money in two years, even his agent would beg him to sign it. Besides, he is 29 yrs old. Lock him up for one year franchise tag and he is a 30 yr old free agent. Do it a second year and he is a 31 yr old free agent. Get the point. Older, less valueable, chances of longterm deal decrease. Carolina still has leverage with this situation if they push it. Personally, try big bonus one time. If he declines, trade him for a boat load of 3rd and 4th round picks or one 1st rd and two 2nd rounds. We are still in control of this situation,but I think we get more if we go after 3rd and 4th rd picks instead. Come away with 4 or 5 picks and were in good shape. Hurney should have signed Pep and Gross two yrs ago and this wouldn't be an issue now. GREAT JOB HURNEY! Thanks a lot!

Posted by: charlie | Jan 29, 2009 6:51:18 PM

the panthers already offered him a long term contract to be the highest paid defensive player, he turned it down, pep does not want to be in carolina, give it up guys, he's done

Posted by: josh | Jan 29, 2009 7:27:02 PM

So Dave said:

"14 1/2 sacks, but can you name 1 of them that came when we really needed it or that changed a game? Half were against Oakland, Detroit, Denver and Green Bay.... two bad teams and two in late season free falls."

First, Peppers did not have a sack against Denver. The other multi-sack game was against TB on Monday night.

Second, your characterization of the teams is irrelevant. Those games were very close games and the Panthers had to struggle to win.

-1.5 sacks and a blocked kick against TB on Monday night in arguably the biggest win of the season for the Panthers
-2 sacks in a 4 point win at Green Bay
-2 sacks, a tackle for loss (a 9 yard loss) and a forced fumble in a 9 point win at Detroit on the road
-3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and a pass deflection in an 11 point win over Oakland

If the Panthers did not have Pep, the Panthers would not have won those four games.

Posted by: Serge | Jan 29, 2009 7:49:19 PM

Josh is right. Peppers has always beat to his own drum - See ya. Now if we can handle the Jake problem we might have a shot at the Super Bowl next year.

Posted by: Kelso | Jan 29, 2009 8:00:08 PM

Josh - I agree, for some reason all these people don't get it.. Charlie for sure doesn't,, I sat with Peppers for 2 1/2 hrs at the Panthers kick-off luncheon. He told me then, he was training in AZ, and I joked with him about beating his sack total this year.. Charlie forgot one key point. If Peppers wanted to be a jerk, he could also refuse to sign the Franchise tag tender , and sit out one yr. Then next year he can choose any team of his choosing to go to, then the Panthers are out of the picture altogether

Posted by: Catsnmbr1fan | Jan 29, 2009 8:01:25 PM

Offer the deal Peppers turned down to Terrell Suggs.

Posted by: Just ME | Jan 29, 2009 8:07:48 PM

I've decided to grow 6 inches talle, put on 70 more pounds get in football shape and offer my services to the Panthers for a cool 10 million a year. If they turn me down, I'll consider a little less in the Benjamins count. In those immortal words of Coach Fox, "it is what it is. Question.... What the hell wasit? I have a feeling that in our sagging economy even we avid fans may turn to what's more important....family, security, and jobs. I follow the news these days....MUCH MORE than sports.

Posted by: BubbaCatFan | Jan 29, 2009 8:43:47 PM

FACT - Pep and his agent says he won't sign w/ Carolina.
FACT - Anquon Boldin said he would never resign w/ the Cardinals, but now his position has taken a step back.
FACT - There have been players in the past that have stated they would never resign with their current team and wound up resigning (e.g. lance briggs).

BOTTOM LINE - Regardless of what is being said today, you never know what the future holds.

I really hope we can keep Pep. It doesn't look promising, but nothing is a sure thing.

As for Charlie, let me puff on whatever it is you're smoking, because thinking any team would make that kind of a move is just F@$%ing NUTS....and if the panthers EVER did, I might just jump ship myself.

Posted by: pnthrfan | Jan 29, 2009 8:44:56 PM

Team needs to franchise Peppers and then trade to the first AFC team offering a first and third draft pick with the possibility of a swap in positions of the second round picks. KC got a first and two thirds for Jared Allen and Minnesota was highly motivated.
Taking less gives more control to Panthers in deciding where to send him.

Posted by: GooseCreek | Jan 29, 2009 9:01:50 PM

Peppers is a first ballot hall of famer and we should pay and do anything we can to keep him here.

Posted by: lovepep | Jan 29, 2009 9:29:08 PM

Goosecreek hit it right on the head...pep at this point is worth exactly what KC got for allen or better...(maybe an escalater on the second third round pick). not to mention that we have to sign Gross before all this pep stuff gets outa hand.
the franchise LT who wants to stay must stay. and to add im thinkn that the broncos or texans might be the best bet as a fit for pep and a draft pick worth getting.

Posted by: randy | Jan 29, 2009 9:31:09 PM

Peppers was the 5th highest paid player in the NFL last year which I find absolutely hilarious. I wouldnt put him in the top 50 players in the league.

Posted by: mushyPEPPERS | Jan 29, 2009 9:45:20 PM

You guys are missing the point - If we franchise Peppers, then we will have to release Jordan Gross or make him one of the top paid offensive lineman (which he IS NOT, maybe a top 10 tackle, NOT A TOP 3). So here is what will happen:

1. Place Franchise tag on Julius Peppers

2. Try to work a deal with Jordan Gross where he is paid well, but not the highest paid O-Lineman in the league. (He is good, not great)

3. When we can't work out a deal with Jordan Gross - we end up releasing him.

4. We do end up trading Peppers for a 1st round pick, and maybe a 5th or 6th rounder if we're lucky.

5. ????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: bb | Jan 29, 2009 9:57:58 PM

Peppers is my favorite player in the nfl if he is with the Panthers or not but I think if we can't talk him into staying we should trade him to Denver they are running a 3-4 and they have pick 12, the Skins have pick 13 and if we get in front of them we could get Brian Orakpo or Everette Brown.

Posted by: Nick | Jan 29, 2009 10:05:11 PM

what moron thinks we played AT detroit this year?

Peppers is done here guys. get over it.

gross is a top 3 tackle, why else was he AP 1st team all pro? we have to re-sign gross

i still think we use the $$$ we save on peppers and sign asomugha

Posted by: DWAYNE | Jan 29, 2009 10:27:26 PM

I swear to god if the panthers just let peppers walk and sign with another team, without either trading him or keeping him for at least one more year I will submit my resume to become the next panthers gm

Posted by: Nick | Jan 29, 2009 10:27:40 PM


Posted by: johnny | Jan 29, 2009 10:30:19 PM

If a player is franchised, he is only franchised by his current team. The team he is traded to signs them to a new contract, they do not assume the franchised cost. The franchise rule needs to change to state the lesser of the two not the greater of the two. Some of these contracts are getting out of hand.

Posted by: Carolina Connection | Jan 29, 2009 10:31:04 PM

Panthers have treated Pep right and he is turning his back. See Ya Pep. Pretty disappointed though.

Posted by: Daryl | Jan 29, 2009 10:42:39 PM

Peppers has treated the Panthers right. He played through his contract without a word of complaint. Get a grip.

Posted by: Authority | Jan 29, 2009 11:13:28 PM

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