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February 20, 2009

Panthers won't face Haynesworth as a Falcon

Updates from the NFL combine in Indianapolis:

The Carolina Panthers won’t have to be concerned about blocking Tennessee unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

Though there has been widespread speculation that Haynesworth could be joining the Falcons once the free agency signing period opens Feb. 27, Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff made it clear today that the team is not interested in bidding for Haynesworth.

“Our aim is not to be a major player in free agency, but to continue to focus on getting back (focused on improving via) the draft” Dimitroff told reporters at the NFL combine.

Dimitroff said the economic problems affecting the nation would have a bearing on how the Falcons and other teams view big spending in the offseason.

“We’re stepping back and really being cautious and analyzing what is around the corner,” he said.

Dimitroff noticed, of course, that Thursday was a big spending day for the Panthers, Atlanta’s NFC South rival. Carolina signed left tackle Jordan Gross to a six-year contract worth nearly $60 million and placed their franchise tag on Julius Peppers, which required them to make Peppers a one-year tender offer of $16.683 million.

Dimitroff said the Falcons always monitor what’s happening around the league and especially within the division.

For now, he said he’s expecting to have to face Peppers with the Panthers again next season despite the fact that Peppers has said he’d prefer to be traded to another team.

“I anticipate seeing him (in Carolina) again,” said Dimitroff. “That’s the only way we can approach it before something happens or doesn’t happen.”

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 20, 2009 at 11:36 AM | Permalink


i love the mind games that are going on with the Peppers situation. Even Dimitroff is in on it with Hurney. Dimitroff said, "I anticipate seeing him (in Carolina) again". Its just funny.

Posted by: aaron | Feb 20, 2009 12:06:35 PM

And bobby petrino is NOT leaving the falcons.

Posted by: Wes | Feb 20, 2009 12:07:11 PM

I think better chance Haynesworth is in Tampa

Posted by: T-man | Feb 20, 2009 12:28:24 PM

If Peppers is wearing a Panther uniform again, I will vomit in my mouth.

Posted by: wahoo | Feb 20, 2009 12:47:21 PM

I just still can't believe people are disappointed with Peppers. He has done everything he's been asked to do by the Panthers, and he kept his mouth shut during the entire length of his contract. How often does that happen? How many guys around the league start moaning when their contracts have a few years left and they either want more money or a change of scenery (or when they become disenchanted with their coaches). What more could he do? Agree to play for a team he doesn't care to be a part of for the rest of his career? That's crazy. Considering how many times I've seen him drop into pass coverage over the past four years, I'm not surprised he wants to move on.

When the Panther's played the Vikings last year, how many times did you see Jared Allen dropping back into coverage? How about John Abraham when we played Atlanta? It seems to me that those guys always went into the game with one mission: to produce sacks. If I were a defensive end, I would want a situation like that, and I don't think that's what Peppers is getting here.

Posted by: Lloyd | Feb 20, 2009 2:43:40 PM

I think the comment on Peppers having to drop back into coverage is not very valid. He said he wants to move to a 3-4 defense, if that's the case and he plays as outside linebacker then he would be dropping into coverage more often than he is. I don't know that the statement that the team doesn't want to be a part of his career is kind of stretching it too. I think coach Fox has been trying to completely utilize his strengths and talents on the field. I love Pep, but if he does get traded, he may realize that the grass isn't always greener on the other side...

Posted by: Adrian | Feb 20, 2009 2:56:34 PM

First of all, let me say that I KNOW there is no way on earth that Michael Vick would ever wind up in Carolina (thank you, Lord!). I do, however, have a question. Regardless of what team may eventually sign him (assuming he is reinstated in the NFL), and given his heinous acts, would security not be an absolute nightmare? Does anyone think a team would be willing to risk the bad PR? Personally, I would be happy if I never have to see his face again--on or off the field!

Posted by: panthergirl | Feb 20, 2009 4:17:39 PM

I agree with Lloyd. I think Pep handled himself with dignity by not complaining over the last two seasons, seasons where he clearly knew he wasn't happy with the scheme of the Panthers and wanted to depart one day. I also, however, think he hasn't been used appropriately, seeing him more as a pure pass rusher than a coverage player. Obviously, Pep agrees with that sentiment, otherwise he'd been staying with the team long term. The thing is, and I'm sure Pep realizes this, pass rushers have to work their backsides off, having to defeat double double teams at times. Still, at the end of the day, I think Pep is tired of the conservatism that Fox lives and breathes with, and wants a change of scenery. To me, and I'm sure there are those that will disagree with this stance, conservatism is what's hampering this team. We need a more aggressive and open minded approach to our coaching, and not the old time stodgy thinking that's currently in place.

Posted by: Bay Area Dude | Feb 20, 2009 5:51:14 PM

You dont get it then.
It's not the fact he wants to leave. it's the way he went about his business.
He shouldve kept his mouth shut.

Posted by: Ugh! | Feb 20, 2009 6:19:37 PM

With the 1st place schedule we play next season and us having our best defensive end leave, where is the pass rush going to come from? it wasn't effective last year and as result our corners got torn apart. I love Charles Johnson and Brayton has some good talent and I see a lot of raw talent in Hilee Taylor, but I want someone in there that can make a instant impact and could replace Peppers at a lower price. So like I stated before, where is the pass rush going to come from?

Posted by: Cameron | Feb 20, 2009 7:02:15 PM

the panthers should focus on signing only 1 player and that player should be either haynesworth or jovan haye.that inside pass rush would do wonders for the entire defense.

Posted by: ray | Feb 20, 2009 7:48:47 PM

I agree with Lloyd and Bay Area Dude!!!!! Some of these comments are so rude and I am appalled to read some of the language used against Peppers.

It has been established that he has talent, (God given talent) and I would guess that the comments are coming from someone that makes less than $100,000.00 a year and if they are so good at telling the OWNER and PLAYERS what to do, I would suggest that they go out on the Field and Play.

Just because they have season tickets does'nt mean they own the team. Peppers is a fine young man and comes from a well respected family!!!!!! He ha s proven that at Chapel Hill and here with the Panthers. He deserves Respect!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: anonymous | Feb 20, 2009 9:13:30 PM

wahoo... "that's tough to swallow."

Posted by: ricobb | Feb 21, 2009 9:33:35 AM

anonymous, you sound like a republican. hes a lazy bum that takes whole seasons off.so just because hes rich and god gave him talent,which he doesnt use nearly to the fullest,we should bow to julius the great.with his talent he should have 25 sacks per year.

Posted by: ray | Feb 21, 2009 10:59:14 AM

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