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February 27, 2009

Peppers won't cause problems if he stays

There has been concern among some Panthers fans that defensive end Julius Peppers could be a locker room problem next season if the franchise tag keeps him on the team against his wishes.

There seems little basis for that concern, however. Peppers never has been known to be a distraction in the locker room. He's always been a pro. His teammates elected him a captain last year.

Even as he and agent Carl Carey expressed his desire to play elsewhere prior to the Panthers' making their franchise player designation, they were careful not to burn bridges with the organization. Neither of them ever spoke ill of the Panthers, team ownership or coaches. Instead, they were about as kind to the Panthers as they could be considering they were trying to do everything possible to either not be franchised or to be traded.

Peppers' teammates won't take his business dealings personally. If he returns, which seems likely, will he be elected a captain again? It's too early to say, but it's certainly possible.

As for Peppers possibly holding out in order to get what he wants, he said the day after the season ended that he doesn't think that's the best way to do business. Plus, he's 29 -- not a good age to be sitting out -- and has a $16.683 million offer sheet in front of him.

But it's also likely that he won't easily give up on his desire to continue his career elsehwere. That might mean playing for the Panthers for at least one more season, then he might try to find a way out a year from now.

If he stays, however, he almost certainly won't be a team "cancer." He never has been and hasn't shown any reason to suspect that would change.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 27, 2009 at 12:41 PM | Permalink


go pepper, go panthers

Posted by: jamie | Feb 27, 2009 1:04:40 PM

Yeah. He won't do anything if he stays. That's the problem.

Posted by: Musson | Feb 27, 2009 1:09:48 PM

go peppers and take lucas with you

Posted by: Chris | Feb 27, 2009 1:11:34 PM

If anything it "should" give him incentive to play to his fullest potential. Likewise, there "should" be plenty of incentive for the coaching staff to use Julius in ways to maximize his skill set. If those two things happen there might be a possibility to get a long term deal signed and both sides win.

Posted by: HeelsRule | Feb 27, 2009 1:11:46 PM

this is a nice, pointless blog on the first day of free agency.. thanks for the waste of internet space

Posted by: panthrz89 | Feb 27, 2009 1:12:40 PM

So Charles, let me get this straight. THIS IS YOUR OPINION,CORRECT??? Did you talk to Julius? Did you wake up and decide to write the headline "Peppers won't cause problems if he stays"?
Dude, you have no idea what Julius will do, so just report the news....and quit with sensationalizim.

Posted by: Izzy | Feb 27, 2009 1:18:48 PM

Charles as the other guy stated.....you need to clarify that this is your OPINION! It's already been posted on rotoworld.com like it's 100% fact. How can you speak for all his teammates. They may tell you guys whatever you want to hear but I bet you any amount of money that some if not most of them deep down hate what Julius did. This was an absolute horrible piece.

Posted by: dude... | Feb 27, 2009 1:25:06 PM

The problem is if he doesnt get traded and stays with the Panthers takes one year $16.683 million offer sheet they will have the same problem next year.Because he doesnt want to stay with the Panthers and doesnt want the long term deal. Yes?

Posted by: panthers | Feb 27, 2009 1:28:54 PM

JUST TRADE HIM!!!! I was a big Pep fan but if the guy wants out let him go. Not only does everyone know he doesnt want to be here, but we could use the 1st rounder since we have absolutely no money to do anything is free agency. I think its a huge mistake...no player is worth 16 mil towards your cap. Trade him, stock some picks and keep up the good drafting of the past 2 years.

Posted by: Bronx Mike | Feb 27, 2009 1:33:21 PM

Peppers has shown that he is a professional and not a prima donna...he has never caused a stir and won't now. If you infantiles would realize that this is business...this is nothing personal on either side. Geez, most of you sound like Duke fans.

Posted by: Briarhopper | Feb 27, 2009 1:35:27 PM

As Gross stated on a radio interview this week, players would have no problem with Peppers being back. The off-season is for business per Gross and he said that all players are aware of the business side of the NFL. The hatred spewed on these sites, blogs, radio shows, etc. is ridiculous! How many talented upper level managers underachieve (according to the expectations of others) and still look for the best deal for themselves and their families? It happens everyday, but because he's a Carolina Panther he shouldn't have the right to seek the best "deal" for himself whatever that entails? That's a closeminded way of looking at this situation. I want Peppers here, but if he leaves I am not going to hate the guy. On the contrare, I hate organizations when they get rid of players that want to be there and have been there for their entire careers. It's why I'm no longer a 49ers fan and became a Panther fan in '95!

Posted by: NFL247 | Feb 27, 2009 1:47:43 PM

I gotta agree with Bronx Mike, sounds like a lot of Duke Fans. I think Peppers will play like he always has if he stays this year. I mean if you play like crap on purpose then what team is gonna want you to come there knowing that you will play crappy if they don't give you what you want?

Posted by: Brock | Feb 27, 2009 1:52:30 PM

CHUCKY!, Are you smoking the same stuff that Quincy Carter smoked! How do you know what Peppers is thinking. Let Him Go! If you do not want to be a part of the fam: show that person the door! BYE Pep! It is ok Chuck. Pepp served his time and to me personally he loafs too much for me! He is constantly getting washed down loosing contain a lot "lately". His stock is high right now, let us sell now! Get a 1st rounder and early 2nd and lets draft smart to address OUR NEEDS! Let it go Chucky, Let it go......... It will be ok to let Pepp GO!

Posted by: Ty | Feb 27, 2009 1:58:45 PM

Uhh...since when does a "pro" take half his snaps off? For all this talk about Peppers playing "like he always has," how about that whole SEASON he took off ('07?) The guy's taken plays off since he was in high school. What's to make us think it'll get better now that he's specifically stated he's not happy where he is?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 27, 2009 2:00:10 PM

Some of you people on this topic really need to use your head. Peppers has been with the Panthers for 7 years, and has NEVER caused a problem, never said anything negative about the team, his teammates, coaches, or the organization. He has never been a distraction. Yet, you think because he did not get traded, (i.e. did not get what he wants) he is going to go off the deep end. That is nuts. Don't you think how he has lived his career the last 7 years is how he lives his life? IN MY OPINION, he will approach this year as a contract year, and probably have another super season. Will he be franchised again next year? Who knows, but IN MY OPINION, I think he and his agent will approach this coming season like it is a showcase year in case he is not franchised next season.

Posted by: Mike | Feb 27, 2009 2:03:16 PM

Hey Charles since you can see the future so clear. When will the economy rebound? What will the lottery numbers be this weekend? Just a couple of useful tidbits of info I would like. Thanks

Posted by: donotgetit | Feb 27, 2009 2:04:13 PM

To all of you bashing Charlie for this article....you're all morons...as a sports writer, it's his job to SPECULATE and offer OPINIONS...he's not a hard news journalist nor is he pretending to report on the friggin war...it's football for cripes sake...and the best part about being a fan of any professional sport is speculating on what may or may not happen....If you can't tell this is his opinion from just reading it, then you obviously forgot to take your meds again. Lighten up fools.

Posted by: Hello???? | Feb 27, 2009 2:15:21 PM

Seems like some people don't understand that this is a blog, where Chandler and others share their thoughts, observations and - yes - opinions on the Carolina Panthers. If you can't understand that, you probably shouldn't be reading it in the first place.

Charles Chandler is simply one of the best in the business, and that includes all of the ESPN and Fox Sports guys.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 27, 2009 2:16:40 PM

I think there is some merit in what Charles is saying. We as fans are hurt by Pep saying he doesn't want to be here, whereas the players are better able to differentiate the business aspect.

However, this is still just an opinion piece. I won't believe Pep won't be a distraction and hinder locker room chemistry if he comes back without hearing multiple Panthers players themselves say that he won't be a distraction. And I don't mean guys like Jake and Muhsin giving the company line either. I mean actual players actual opinions.

Posted by: J | Feb 27, 2009 2:16:59 PM

Peppers won't cause any problems if he stays put, but...at $16+ MM for the season, EVERY little thing he does (or doesn't do) will be ruthlessly scrutinized by the media and the fanbase, rightly or wrongly. And if it's perceived that he's sandbagging/taking plays off/dogging it in the least, look out...the uproar will be heard from one coast to the other! I think I'd almost prefer he go to another team rather than seeing him have a big, fat target on his back all of next season...

Posted by: VA Cat Fan | Feb 27, 2009 2:18:28 PM

Do the math here folks! Stay one crummy year, make north of 16 million, with a M,play hard so next year some one is willing to pay you say north of 20 million to play a single year...play poorly and expect to get say 3 million. What would Mike do? I'd trust Julius to look out for himself and his future anywhere.

Posted by: gmonet | Feb 27, 2009 2:19:53 PM

I would be one fan who thinks the that while the Panthers organization has been very generous to Peppers contract-wise I cannot understand why they have not played to his talents more.
I do not think anyone would argue the fact that Peppers is a very rare-few-and-far-between-large-highly gifted athlete. Given that why is he used as a standard NFL DE...I don't think the Panthers have found ways to max-out his abilities. for example back in the day the NYG found creative ways to move #56 LT all over the field and because of this he was able to bring it (his speed, power etc) from anywhere and everywhere. Peppers lines up at either L or R DE 100% of the time...Heck, if its 3rd down and long (a passing situation) find the creativity to line him up all over the front 7...force the offense to find him and figure out who and how you are going to block him. Seems to me this would create a lot more headache for an offense not only during the game, but also would be a total time consuming nusiance when factoring practice and gameplanning time. As is teams know where he will be lined up and excatly how they will block, chip double team, hold and mug him!
Put him out there on offense in the red zone as well. Let the defense prepare for 89,87, 34 or 28 and big number 90 down inside the 15 or 10 yd. line!

if 90 is going to make 16+m next year...let him earn every $....coaches get paid some pretty good bucks themselves is it asking to much for them to find creative (out side the box) ways to max out really use to the fullest extent a rare athlete's talents! Perhaps Coach Fox and Meeks are already studying old NYG film of LT, if not I wish they would do so....

Posted by: Nebcatfan | Feb 27, 2009 2:21:48 PM

Some of you guys really put the "fan" in fanatic. If you knew how to read, you would see that in his article he prefaces his statement by writing “There seems little basis for that concern, however. Peppers never has been known to be a distraction in the locker room. He's always been a pro. His teammates elected him a captain last year.” At this point he states his evidence in support of his hypothesis. If Charles has to “clarify” that this in opinion piece for you, then maybe you think comic book heros are real and books of fiction are in fact factual.

Posted by: Matt | Feb 27, 2009 2:27:18 PM

Ncf, Peppers has neither the speed nor the coverage abilities to play linebacker. That, and there are the dozens of fans on here who bitch when he drops back twice a game. God forbid the guy actually did that as a linebacker.

Oh, and the Peppers as WR experiment ended not because of the staff, but because Peppers himself was too selfish to continue doing it.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 27, 2009 2:27:35 PM

Some many comments about negative Julius Peppers! Realize this all you out there in Panther land bashing JP. I believe this will work out well! How many times as a 29 yr old did you screw up (do and say things you may not have meant). What is so different in his case. JP along with Steve Smith is the face of the franchise! I believe he will continue to excel and help lead the Panthers. All of you who want JP gone....think hard about what you're saying and realize that the firing of TRGOVAC (sp) and a new look of defensive coaches will provide a lift to the Defense and it's players. Keep Julius pay him is due! Go back and restructure a long term deal and let's get ready to play some ball. Finally, for those who cannot understand my perspective, think about how many times you wanted you worked a job but wanted to quit (for various reasons). You get the possibility to quick but then you learn that the boss quit and you can do your job better that ever before. Let's think before we start throwing JP under the bus! the Cats will deal with this and you guys have to understand to us it's entertainment, to them it's business!

Posted by: Go Panthers | Feb 27, 2009 2:44:30 PM

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