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January 31, 2010

Agent: Panthers giving Peppers "silent treatment," believes they've "moved on"

Julius Peppers' agent said tonight that he has not heard from the Carolina Panthers since the end of the season regarding his client's future with the team and that he believes the club has "moved on" with the intent of allowing Peppers to become an unrestricted free agent.

"I initiated communication with the organnztion shortly after the season ended,"  agent Carl Carey told the Observer. "They informed me they would make contact the following week and they never did.

"To date, we still have not heard from them. They are definitely giving Julius the silent treatement, but sometimes silence actually tells you more than words do. We can only conclude that they have moved on."

ESPN's Adam Schefter cited an NFL source Sunday who claimed team owner Jerry Richardson had told people in the league the team would not try to keep Peppers.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined to discuss Peppers' situation last week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and so far has been unavailable for comment tonight.

Peppers' contract is set to expire next month. In order to keep him, the Panthers either would have to sign him to a contract extension or apply their franchise tag.

The tag would be ultra-expensive, however, costing the Panthers more than $20 million -- a 20 percent increase over the $16.683 million they paid him this season via the franchise tag.

It has been widely believed that Peppers would only sign a long-term contract extension making him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.  Such a deal would have to average more than $15 million per year.

However, Carey said of the Panthers, "The organization has no idea what Julius' salary requirement would be at this point because they haven't asked."

Carey said Peppers was "open to hearing" from the Panthers after the regular season, but "because he has not heard from them, then he has to start looking forward to the likely scenario that he will enter free agency, and he’s excited about that."

Carey reiterated that the Panthers "have not made a single inquiry this offseason regarding Julius and the possibility of him having a future with the franchise. At this point, we do not expect to hear from them.

"We have treated the organization with professionalism, cordinality and respect thoughout the past eight years and we’re proud of that."

Carey said the Panthers' silence this year is a marked change from last year, when the two sides were in frequent communication even after Peppers said in January 2009 that he wanted to move to another team.

Peppers has a team record 81 sacks in eight seasons and recently was named to the NFL's All-Decade team. He is playing tonight in his fifth career Pro Bowl.

If Peppers indeed becomes an unrestricted free agent, he'd likely become the most marketable player at his position to hit the open market since Reggie White.

"Julius is looking forward to free agency and feels he is just now entering his prime," said Carey. "He has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. As he opens the next chapter of his life and his career, Julius wants to thank the Carolina fans and let them know their support has meant a lot to him over the years."

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on January 31, 2010 at 07:38 PM | Permalink


Trust me I'm not a fox hater, but part of this is his fault because he won't decide if he's gonna coach next year or not. Just give us a stinking answer already and then we can move on!

It leave a really bitter taste in my mouth knowing what Peppers is worth and how we will just let him walk. But come on guys. He cost us 18 million dollars last season. Thomas Davis is probably gonna need a good 8 or 9 million too.

I wish we could tag him and get a second and third or better but sometimes things just don't work that way.

Kinda bummed cause Peppers really seemed like he wanted to come back next year with us and Meeks did such a great job. I just hope maybe we can bring in another decent lineman and maybe he cap room will allow us to bring in some Much needed role players. Our team has plenty of pro bowlers (smith Stewart Williams beason gamble Davis ect. ) but you need 2-3 role players for every stud and for us it's the studs and then just subpar guys. Time to build a more rounded roster.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Jan 31, 2010 7:50:44 PM

Hey...you either pay the guy or let him move on. It will be a loss of a good player but that's the NFL, teams lose good players all of the time. We can't afford to be handcuffed in free agency like we were last year just so ONE player can get paid what he thinks he's worth. If you go by the averages, he probably has about 4 or 5 good years left in him...barring a serious injury. Use that money elsewhere on the team and have Brown and Johnson rotate at his spot. They need to worry more about signing Thomas Davis in my opinion.

Posted by: JT | Jan 31, 2010 7:53:31 PM

Gamble, haven't you read anything lately? This has nothing to do with Fox. Richardson is the one not offering him the extension and apparently it's also Richardson who is wanting to move on without Pep. Man, I hate that he walks without any compensation in return.

Posted by: Bailey | Jan 31, 2010 7:57:36 PM

They sign jake the flake to a long term contract paying mega bucks for a mega flop. But worse of all is being totally classless and so many years of giving up his body, playing injured and not getting a reply back from the team, no class at all for the panthers, no wonder the team is in the crapper, in this case poop comes from the top and rolls downhill to the team performance.

Posted by: john sturgess | Jan 31, 2010 8:03:26 PM

Alright....lets move on...

maybe we can find a player who plays 100% all the time....a player who cares like jon beason!

Posted by: Scott | Jan 31, 2010 8:16:39 PM

this sports writer is a retard, peppers would become a restricted free agent because of the un-capped year comming up

Posted by: wonka | Jan 31, 2010 8:19:19 PM

It would be ashame to lose Peppers. He'll be hard to replace. These days playing is about money first and team second. If this was the real world Peppers would be begging to keep his job. In the NFL it's a "how much more can you pay me attitude." If a player can't recognize sometimes the "more" creates a hardship for the team, especially when he's the highest paid in his position. I hope Peppers will talk to Mr. Richardson directly, without the Agent or Team attorneys.

Posted by: Neal Conner | Jan 31, 2010 8:24:45 PM

You might want to take that back Wonka. Players are only restricted free agents in 2010 if they have 6 years or less in the league. Peppers has 8 so he will be an unrestricted free agent. Not all free agents can be signed by any team, there are restriction on teams that made the playoffs which is defined in the final eight plan.

Posted by: JT | Jan 31, 2010 8:29:40 PM

Posted by: Scott | Jan 31, 2010 8:16:39 PM

this sports writer is a retard, peppers would become a restricted free agent because of the un-capped year comming up

Dude your the one that is a retard, peppers is a unrestricted free agent. in an uncapped you have to have 6 years of service. Peppers was drafted in 2002.

Posted by: txtchjmb | Jan 31, 2010 8:34:04 PM

This is just Peppers and his agent doing a 180 after last season becausetot backfired on them. He still wants out as much as ever. Instead of making Peppers look like the bad guy like last year, they're trying to save face and pin this on the Panthers. I'd rather get something in return for Peppers but if we don't, use the money saved and sign a few guys that play with heart 100% of the time and they'll be better off.

Peppers will be an unrestricted free agent because he's been in the league more than 6 years.

Posted by: Mike | Jan 31, 2010 8:35:09 PM

No Wonka, Peppers is UNrestricted. More than 6 years= unrestricted. We drafted Peppers after the 2001 disaster season.

Posted by: Bailey | Jan 31, 2010 8:35:27 PM

since next year is going to be an uncapped one, what does it matter what his salary is? just slap the franchise tag on him and keep him around another season...

Posted by: james | Jan 31, 2010 8:40:24 PM

Just let the guy go! It'd be bad for team morale for him to make so much more than other players who work a lot harder than him like Beason. Hopefully Brown will step up next year and with better play at the QB position we'll be a much better team without Peppers.

Posted by: Elizabeth | Jan 31, 2010 8:57:44 PM

As long as we can keep Jake Glacomma we will win the souper bowl. Go Bojangles

Posted by: kevin | Jan 31, 2010 9:07:04 PM

Oh also did anybody else think maybe this was Carey trying to force Carolina to tip their hand?

THe Panthers obviously were taking their sweet time and I think Peppers and his agent were trying to rush them to make up their mind.

Also, while its true he is unrestricted, its not like he's gonna go to the Saints or anybody good. THe Final Eight plan sinks any of those teams shot at him.

IF there is a cap, expect somebody like Green Bay or Arizona to make a move.

IF theres no cap, I think the Skins will make a move. They already got Haynesworth and the first round rookie, and Shanahan has always LOVED pep.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Jan 31, 2010 9:19:04 PM

It would be foolish for the Panthers to allow Julius Peppers to just walk away. He is a physical freak of nature who has single handedly won games for the Panthers, ON DEFENSE!!! People say he doesn't play hard all the time but they are mistaken. He has played through injuries quite often. If anything, the Panthers have done him a disservice by never protecting him on the field. Since his rookie season in 2002, they have rarely ever sent rushers off of his side. It set up Mark Fields to come off the edge and to make plays. Fields led the NFL in forced fumbles that year, not to mention Peppers own forced fumbles. After Del Rio left, Mike Trgovac underutilized Julius for years. His vanilla defense and John Fox's conservatism have not helped this situation at all. With Ron Meeks running the defense this past season, the Panthers were a productive turnover forcing unit despite Jake Delhomme's constant short comings. Pep constantly seemed to be having fun this past season despite constantly being railed by the local media for his contract, which he EARNED in the first place. If I was Julius the actual team of players would be hard to beat, but the front office and media have made Charlotte an unappealing place to play. I love Julius for what he's accomplished while a Panther. I just wish it wouldn't seem as if he's being pushed away.

Posted by: Al | Jan 31, 2010 9:24:10 PM

the reason pepper's agent didn't get a reply was because jerry was busy kicking everyone's ass in the organization. Do you think jerry is stupid? He has trade value and will never be an unrestricted free agent. jake won't be back it's an uncapped year. they eat that mistake in one season.

Posted by: joe cool | Jan 31, 2010 9:51:04 PM

It's interesting how this works with agents. They say they haven't heard from the team for a future contract offer, but don't express what long term deal his client wants. It's like let them make an offer first and then we'll automatically say that's not enough and ask for more.

Posted by: mtnbuddy | Jan 31, 2010 11:41:09 PM

"We have treated the organization with professionalism, cordinality and respect thoughout the past eight years and we’re proud of that."

Carey, YOU DISGUST ME. It is 20-faced slimeballs like you that have helped ruin our country!!

And I agree with slapping the tag on the punk! But the franchise should immediately trade him to the Raiders for two 5th round draft picks, just to spite the mongrol (and the owner & future head coach).

And I don't blame Panther brass for staying mum, especially after last season and what the Poopers camp did to this organization. GOOD FOR THEM!!!


Posted by: SYRPIS | Jan 31, 2010 11:55:52 PM

Interesting little flashback from 4 years ago. It was in the CO. Who else does his agent represent?

February 03, 2006
Peppers gets new agent; new deal next?

Very quietly, Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers has switched agents. Peppers parted ways with Marvin Demhoff, one of the most powerful agents in NFL circles.
Peppers is now represented by Carl Carey, who has only been a certified agent since Aug. 15, 2005. But Peppers’ ties to Carey run deep. Carey was Peppers’ academic advisor at the University of North Carolina and has been an advisor and mentor to Peppers throughout his professional career.

Posted by: pantherfan1234 | Feb 1, 2010 4:07:43 AM

As far as we work hard and insist on,champion is nearby to u.

Posted by: NFL Draft | Feb 1, 2010 4:14:57 AM

lets end this drama and let the 31 year old underachiever loose.we could buy a couple of pro bowl wideouts and aaron kampmann for what we are paying peppers.take fox with you.this season was a tragedy.

Posted by: raydaz | Feb 1, 2010 1:19:56 PM

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