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February 23, 2009

Gross: Peppers may be 'willing' to stay

410-peppersgrosscpsize.highlight_large.prod_affiliate.138 Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross said on Sirius NFL Radio Monday that he hopes the team will do whatever it takes to keep defensive end Julius Peppers and that he thinks Peppers could agree to remain with team. Gross said he has spoken to Peppers recently and said of Peppers: "he's willing to leave, he's willing to stay."

Peppers has told reporters, and has said through his agent, that he wants to play elsewhere. However, Peppers is now under the franchise tag, which limits his ability to go to another team. Peppers could choose to play under a one-year tender offer of $16.683 million.

Here's a partial transcript of Gross' conversation on the "Movin' The Chains" show with hosts Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan, which airs daily from 3-7 p.m. on Sirius Channel 124:

Host, Tim Ryan:  "When you look at Peppers and if he's not on that defense, who replaces that talent?  Who would it be that could start to bring some pass rush off the edge?  Is it Charles Johnson?  I know Charles started to come along last year but from practicing against those guys every day, who is the next good pass rusher in Carolina besides Pep?"

Jordan Gross:  "I personally think that we need to do whatever we can to get a deal done to keep him in house.  Just what he does on the field and off the field, just kind of his image with the team and with the fans, it's of the utmost importance that we keep him.  I've spoken with him and he's willing to leave, he's willing to stay.  He just kind of wants to see what the best situation is going to be for him.  But I think Charles Johnson has really come a long way.  He really did well at the end of last year.  Big, strong, physical guy and is learning the game.  We've got a new d-line coach who I don't know anything about but maybe they could bring a little bit more coaching element that he hasn't had yet.  He's probably our next in line but I wouldn't be surprised if in the draft and in free agency they address the pass rusher."

Ryan:  "So talking to Pep would you say that if the money was right he would be willing to do a long term deal in Carolina to stay and finish his career?"

Gross:  "You know, I can't say that and not because I'm trying to be P.C., just because I really don't know.  He's a pretty private guy.  I texted with him back and forth a little bit these last few weeks and I just think he wants to find the right situation for him whatever that is.  They've kind of made a lot of changes on defense and our coaching staff and maybe that's what he was looking for, or what.  He makes his home in Carolina and he said he wants to live there when he's done playing and I think it would be hard for him to leave if the situation was right."

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 23, 2009 at 08:42 PM | Permalink


I'd rather have peppers on my team then have him somewhere else.

Posted by: Yup | Feb 23, 2009 9:18:04 PM

Keeping Peppers would absolutely destroy the salary cap for this team and handicap the Panthers for a few years to come. I have nothing against Peppers, but for god's sake trade him. PLEASE!!!!

Posted by: jeff | Feb 23, 2009 9:21:02 PM

where does it end. players aren't worth the money they are getting. they only work part of the year. 16+ million for one year and that doesn't guarantee you a super bowl.
i was at the cardinal playoff game. it was the worse effort i ever saw the panther give. they should give part of their salary back because they did not earn it that day.

Posted by: david | Feb 23, 2009 9:33:15 PM

um............the salary cap is nonexistent next year jeff! if we can hold him this year there will be no lingering effect next year.

Posted by: fu | Feb 23, 2009 9:35:31 PM

he's not worth the cash. no one is.

Posted by: rafi | Feb 23, 2009 9:40:33 PM

Regaurdless of your opinions of Peppers, people must realize that he has never been a problem on or off the field, he has been a class act his entire career here with the team. If you do not count his one bad season with 2.5 tackles, he has been one of the best if not the best defensive linemen that this team has ever had in their short history.

If the team does not resign him, how long would it take to groom another playr of his caliber? Yes, the team will save money now, but eventully they will have to pay some money to someone later.

Overall, I am pleased to have ghad him on the team reguardless of how the situation plays out. He has been a team player and always will be.

Posted by: Anthony | Feb 23, 2009 10:02:39 PM

I have done comparisons of Peppers stats verse other DE in the league and he is the best DE over the last 7 yrs. His stats are better that Strahan's 1st 7 yrs, Freeney and Allen, so give him a break. You are taking this much too personnal. You would do the same for yourself, if not then you need to evaluate your priorities.
I had to make the same decision a few months back and it worked out for me. Good Luck Pep and Panthers, I hope you are together for a long time. All you will forget this after his 2nd sack. Relax it will be alright.

Posted by: Carolina Connection | Feb 23, 2009 10:07:02 PM

Sign Peppers long-term because honestly, we have to! He is an institution in Carolina. Losing Pep on defense would be like losing Smith on offense. I know we made an offer before the start of the season, but it was not making him the highest paid player in the league on defense and that is what he wants. Not to mention, the longer the deal, the more cap space we have. Offer him something like; 8 yrs / $85 million / $35 guaranteed....he'll take it. If not, then trade him the next day! Our cap is not destroyed by Peppers, it is being destroyed by Hurney. I like Gamble, but $53 million?? Are you kidding me? We have to cut Lucas, which we should have done last year because Richard Marshal has proven himself (to me anyway). We need to hoard draft picks and build through the draft faster. We need to look at OLB in this draft and DT..because Kemo is a cap casualty next year along with either Thomas Davis, Ni'al Diggs, Landon Johnson or all 3. The CBA will get done soon. There will not be an uncapped year, don't believe that. The game is too successful this way and the owners/players know it. This year we need to cut: Lucas, Delhomme, Goings and a few other high priced reserve players. Replenish through the draft. What hurt was the year we signed Lucas, Kemo and Whale, those were 3 big contracts. Two of which will come off the books next year if we release Lucas now.

Posted by: Charlie | Feb 23, 2009 10:16:43 PM


Posted by: CLINT | Feb 23, 2009 10:20:44 PM

You've never won the Super Bowl with him but by trading him you might get the kind of talent via the draft to get you over the top. Take it from someone who knows a thing or two about winning a Super Bowl.

Posted by: Dan Rooney | Feb 23, 2009 10:37:09 PM

We forgive a guy that brutally assaulted a teammate (twice). I certainly think we could forgive Peppers.

Posted by: JR Genes | Feb 23, 2009 10:38:56 PM

Charlie - Wow, you really don't follow the team, do you..?? Peppers was offered the largest contract in the History of the NFL for a Defensive player at the beginning of 2008..He was still being paid 14 million, and was the 5th highest player in the NFL,, And that was 5 million more then the nearest defensive player..this after a 2.5 sack year, which most of these same fans, said he wasn't worth that much ..And a majority said cut him...Then Charlie, you say, get rid of most of the LB's..!! ..When the strongest part of the team is the LB's on the defense.. We do need help on the Def line.. THEN YOU SAY, CUT JAKE..!!... Where the hell did that come from on a Peppers BLOG..?? Get off the bandwagon..please..

Posted by: Catsnmbr1fan | Feb 23, 2009 10:40:22 PM

Foget peppers. Gived me !7million instead aNad I"ll play wiht more hart than Peppers. I;ll get 20 sacks a yeear

Posted by: gengizk | Feb 23, 2009 10:42:46 PM

Charlie, whatever you're on, I want some! All I can say is...wow!

Posted by: superlucchic | Feb 23, 2009 11:02:17 PM

You all are taking this far to personal. Pep has been a class act here and he's only looking out for his best interest which is the same thing you would do on your job. I would certainly try and work to keep him here if i were the Panthers but if that doesn't work out I wouldn't except anything less than a 1st and 2nd round pick.

Posted by: thenxtgreat | Feb 23, 2009 11:42:59 PM

STAY ,JULIUS ,STAY!!!New Defensive Coordinator!Not only was Julius held back the whole defense was.Maybe we will have more aggressive play calling this year.The man needs helpif we blitz more it would open up his game more .

Posted by: bryant80 | Feb 24, 2009 12:19:01 AM

NOoo one is going to give up a 1st AND 2nd round pick. Are you crazy?

Posted by: gengizk | Feb 24, 2009 12:24:19 AM

Im a Panther fan in florida but use to live in charlotte...hell if you dont want him as much as it would hurt id love him in my backyard in tampa...you guys take it too personal..its business, and if he wants out so be it...if he got hurt he'd prob. be cut. he honored his deal and has done nothing wrong on or off the field...one bad year and some games where he is not a factor. big deal..who is a factor every game and every down...hell b.sanders had a 10 carry -15 yard game in the playoffs against greenbay back in the day...give pepp a break you fairweather fans...dont you have to drink you whine and leave at half time or something...and get off your cells...noone can hear you at a football game you jackoffs....

Posted by: mike | Feb 24, 2009 12:27:07 AM

Ok, here are a few thoughts I have:
Peppers has not said all that much himself, so we know very little of his true desires. I personally am torn on if we NEED him. I think that should be the key, NEED. There are several high quality defensive players in the draft this year. I think even if we could get a late first rounder, we could still manage to pick up Brian Orakpo, James Laurinaitis, Michael Johnson, or Evander Hood, just to name a few. Most of us would agree that the offense is where it needs to be (will a few people begging to differ that we need a QB). So, do we get rid of Peppers for a potential rookie?

Our second option is to keep Peppers. I highly doubt that Carolina will pay Peppers the Franchise Tag money. They will restructure a deal with him, if he indeed has any desire to stay.

I am not sure which way I am leaning on this issue. I think, I rather have the draft pick and continue to improve our defense with young talent.

Posted by: JD | Feb 24, 2009 1:12:58 AM

Defensive players along the defensive line arent as polished or as good as Peppers,even at this stage in his career.

I say if he signs longterm,He's the "Champ".

Posted by: GhostOfSparta | Feb 24, 2009 3:43:01 AM

In this years draft anyways,my fault on not adding that.

Posted by: GhostOfSparta | Feb 24, 2009 3:43:46 AM

Peppers is worth exactally what someone is willing to pay him.

Posted by: David Merritt | Feb 24, 2009 7:59:08 AM

Resign Peppers its the only thing to do.
The rest of you haters can go bite an apple

Posted by: Jay | Feb 24, 2009 8:34:50 AM

Trade Jake not Peppers

Posted by: Jay | Feb 24, 2009 8:35:41 AM

Soooo Peppers has ALREADY turned down the biggest contract for defensive player in history... AFTER a year he OBVIOUSLY took off. Now- he says he will NOT sign here long term. Then he is franchised and can shop himself around. Only, NOW the Panthers would have to pay him EVEN MORE. ---- yeah, he's staying..... rrrriiiiiiiiiiight.

Please just get this over with so I can tell Jerry Richardson who we should take with Denver's #1 pick this year.

Posted by: wahoo | Feb 24, 2009 8:53:34 AM

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