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February 17, 2009

Gross about to strike it rich

0218gross    Jordan Gross is poised to become a very  wealthy man.

    The Panthers are trying to complete negotiations for a long-term contract extension with Gross before Thursday afternoon, the deadline for making their franchise player designation for the free agency period.

   The Panthers’ best-case scenario would be to get Gross signed and then put their franchise tag on defensive end Julius Peppers, who wants to leave the team. That would put the Panthers in position to get compensation for Peppers, likely in the form of high draft picks.

   As reported previously, Gross stands to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $9 million per season. That would make him the highest paid offensive tackle outside of Jake Long, whom the Miami Dolphins selected with the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft.

   Gross figures to get a significantly better deal than the five-year, $40 million contract the New York Jets gave Pittsburgh free agent guard Alan Faneca last year.

   Gross is in the prime of his career and is coming off the best season of his career.

   Playing left tackle, he was selected to his first Pro Bowl and was named first-team all-pro. At age 28, he is in the prime position to strike it big with the most lucrative contract of his football career.

   Gross and his agents have lots of leverage, knowing the Panthers’ urgency to get a deal complete so they can use the franchise tag on Peppers.

   So as Gross’ representatives negotiate with the Panthers, they’ll be trying to get as good of a deal – or better – than they could get if Gross were to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent Feb. 27.

   Gross has said he wants to remain with the Panthers, but he’s smart enough to get the best deal possible.

   Word is a deal is getting close, so the next day or two should be plenty interesting to see if it actually gets completed. 

   -- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 17, 2009 at 03:25 PM | Permalink


Peppers agent should get a cut

Posted by: jp | Feb 17, 2009 3:38:05 PM

If for some reason this doesn't work out in time, the Panthers need to let Gross hit the open market. He has actually expressed his interest in staying a Panther, so there shouldn't be a huge a fear of him jetting for another team. Might they overpay? Sure, but I would rather overpay, knowing you can renegotiate down the road, and tag Peppers and use him as trade bet. There is no way you let a commodity like Peppers walk free into the free agent market without receiving compensation, especially when he has stated publicly he has no desire to play for Carolina. All that said, let's hope Gross truly is close to signing a new deal. He has earned it and is a great ambassador for the team.

Posted by: mountaineerdynasty | Feb 17, 2009 3:39:31 PM

Thanks for opening your mouth early Peppers and transferring leverage to Gross. I really hope these guys salary gets capped in some way so perhaps they can feel a little of the pain the rest of us have to feel when the economy is in the crapper.

Posted by: Michael | Feb 17, 2009 3:40:32 PM

Talk about overrated. I've seen this guy get rolled up so many times, and lets even talk about the false start penalties. This team lead the league in false starts. He probably has more false starts than Peppers has sacks!!

Posted by: NC | Feb 17, 2009 3:41:21 PM

I think Klady at Denver is on his way to being the best Tackle in the game, Gross is good but not great

Posted by: jp | Feb 17, 2009 3:53:26 PM

will you sign him already. this is killing me
. give gross whatever he wants, we can always cut him if he doesnt perform. peppers doesnt want to play for us so let him go.

Posted by: rafi | Feb 17, 2009 4:01:56 PM

Yup, in fact JP, he is so good and so relevant you misspelled his name. It is Clady, not Klady. On top of that, he just finished his first season in the NFL. Carolina- 3rd in the NFL in total rushing, while Denver was 12th. I'll take Gross and Otah as my tackles any day of the week.

Posted by: mountaineerdynasty | Feb 17, 2009 4:06:36 PM

I know negotiations take time, but I don't think the Panthers should give Gross all he wants, only give him what he is worth. All ofus hard-working stiffs are taking things on the chin with no guarantees of salary or jobs. Is it fair to give professional players millions per year to play football? I don't think so. Hey Panthers, bite the bullet and realize the next year coming up is going to be hard on your wallet, because it is!

Posted by: Lewis | Feb 17, 2009 4:16:39 PM

Hes worth every penny...being bounced all around the line and never griping...he played great last year and now has a set position. lets face the facts, the man needs to get paid...and before thursday.

Posted by: randy | Feb 17, 2009 4:20:25 PM

False start number 69 offense, sound familar.

Posted by: THE REF | Feb 17, 2009 4:22:00 PM

Isn't America a great country, you gotta love free agency...Gross happens to fall into a great situation with the Peppers situation. Let's just hope that after he inks the biggest deal for his position he still plays like he wants to get paid.

Posted by: Jon in DC | Feb 17, 2009 4:25:01 PM

I know negotiations take time, but I don't think the Panthers should give Gross all he wants, only give him what he is worth. All ofus hard-working stiffs are taking things on the chin with no guarantees of salary or jobs. Is it fair to give professional players millions per year to play football?
As David Poole says, the fair is where you go for corn dogs and funnel cakes. Get real. This isn't about the economy or your job - it is about him getting his value (BTW he is WORTH what anyone will pay him). Professional athletes frankly contribute greatly to the economy and society and are worth whatever they are paid. No one says you have to like it go to the games as plenty of others will.

Posted by: Owl | Feb 17, 2009 4:29:24 PM

Gross had great rookie year in 2003 but has had to deal with constant injuries and personnel shuffling on the O line until this year. Now with Otah holding down the right side and the interior of the line taking shape Gross will only get better in 2009. He is a team player and a decent guy. Glad to see him get the pay day.

Posted by: Jim | Feb 17, 2009 4:34:04 PM

I like Gross but come on - no player is worth these kind of dollars. Gross is smart to get the dollars now because the NFL will start feeling the economy just like all of us fans > I just can't justify in my mind the ticket prices to watch these kind of salaries play football.

Posted by: Kelso | Feb 17, 2009 4:35:38 PM

They're gonna pay this guy $40 million bucks and he can't even grow a decent beard? Oh well, as I see it, that lousy beard is now worth at least 2 high draft picks because we'll have him in the fold and can thus jettison Julius 'I'm a traitor' Peppers without losing a wink of sleep... so let's just pay it and be done.

Posted by: Huskers86 | Feb 17, 2009 4:43:47 PM

Correction- Gross was already a very weatlhy man the day he hit the panthers. Nothing will change with his new contract. Get real when talking about money with these guys. I'd get what I could get if I was in their position too, but don't act like all pro players are not "gross" ly over paid!!!!!!!

Posted by: Scott | Feb 17, 2009 4:44:43 PM

The problem is probably guaranteed money. Panthers should make it very incentive laden, but it's more likey to go in favor of Gross.

Posted by: JT | Feb 17, 2009 4:47:30 PM

And now the panthers are going to cut 20 positions from "normal" people. If they each cost, on average $100K in salary and costs, then they are saving $2M a year. I'm sure they are going to overpay Gross that amount just because of the screws Peppers has turned. Would the coachs and players be willing to part with an average of $30K from their muli-million dollar salaries to save the jobs of their "co-workers"??

Posted by: Scott | Feb 17, 2009 4:59:48 PM

Constant injuries?! Ha! Until this season, Gross hadn't missed one game, HIS ENTIRE CAREER. Gross deserves this pay day. We had arguably the best running game we'ave had ever, Delhomme was one of the least frequently sacked QBs in the league, plus Gross is a standup guy.

Posted by: Walt | Feb 17, 2009 5:10:24 PM

Jordan Gross is not even close to being worth 9 million a season. Funny he said he wanted to stay here in Carolina, but he is certainly giving the Panthers the shaft in his negotiations and using Peppers' situation against the Panthers. He better be ready to hear the boos when he false starts multiple times a game next season.

Posted by: J Thomas | Feb 17, 2009 5:14:12 PM

"He probably has more false starts than Peppers has sacks!!"

Peppers might have gotten 14.5 sacks this year (which would be an 8 sack per year average over the last 2 seasons)

Gross hasn't given up 8 sacks total in the last 2 years

Posted by: J | Feb 17, 2009 5:17:39 PM

Correction, 9 sack per year average

Gross doesn't get the love that Peppers got because offensive lineman aren't glamorous positions. But the fact is, the Panthers led the NFL in rushing touchdowns, and Gross was integral in that.

On the contrary, we allowed 30+ points in 5 of our last 7 games. Peppers was an integral part in allowing that to happen.

Posted by: J | Feb 17, 2009 5:18:48 PM

Don't understand the hatred towards Gross when he was selected First Team All-Pro this year. Even if the experts are "wrong" and he is only a second-teamer, does he still not deserve a contract in line with the best considering the huge hole he would leave on our OLine, his leadership, and standing in the community? That's too much to lose in my opinion - give him what he wants.

Posted by: RP | Feb 17, 2009 5:42:14 PM

The most overpaid person on the team for services rendered is John Fox; in light of that anything we give Gross should seem fair.

Posted by: Ben | Feb 17, 2009 5:52:45 PM

Way to catch uo to last night's reports Observer.

Posted by: Irony | Feb 17, 2009 5:57:21 PM

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