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January 07, 2010

Agent: Peppers waiting for Panthers' move

The ball is in the Carolina Panthers' court regarding Julius Peppers' future with the team.

0107peppers Peppers' agent, Carl Carey, told the Observer this morning that Peppers is waiting for the Panthers to announce how they plan to handle his potential free agency before saying anything about his wishes, but Carey reiterated that Peppers' concerns from last season "don't currently exist."

"I think it's appropriate that we reserve our comments until after the Panthers' organization has publicly announced their intentions regarding Julius' impending free agency," Carey said. "Julius feels good about being selected to his fifth Pro Bowl and is focusing on representing the Carolina Panthers in Miami."

 Peppers' contract is set to expire and the Panthers' must decide whether to try to negotiate a long-term contract with him or whether to place their franchise tag on him. Under NFL rules, the Panthers may apply the franchise tag anytime between Feb. 11-25. They are free to negotiate a contract now.

Peppers played under the franchise tag this season at a base salary of $16.683 million, plus a $1.5 million bonus for making the Pro Bowl.

In order to franchise him again, and thus limit his ability to be on the open market, the Panthers would have to give Peppers a 20% pay increase with a one-year tender offer of $20.1 million. He would also have the $1.5 million Pro Bowl incentive for next season.

Asked whether Peppers is open to signing a long-term contract with the Panthers, Carey said:

"Before Julius makes any decisions about his future, he is waiting until they have stated their position."

It's a complicated decision for Carolina.

If the Panthers don't put their franchise tag on Peppers or sign  him to a long-term deal, he would become an unrestricted free agent. But that would mean the Panthers would risk losing him without any compensation.

If Carolina wanted to trade Peppers, they'd have to put the franchise tag on him, but that would obligate them to the $20.1 million tender offer if he signed it and if no trade could be worked out. As was evident last year, Peppers being tagged with such a large tender number could prevent other teams from wanting to make a trade because they'd not only have to meet his contractual demands, but also would have to compensate the Panther with draft picks, players, etc.

Last year about this time, Peppers let it be known that he hoped the Panthers would not franchise him and that he'd prefer to play elsewhere. He said at that time he felt he'd maximized his potential in the Panthers' system.

 Peppers said Monday as he exited Bank of America Stadium that he no longer felt that way, which Carey affirmed today.

"He definitely enjoyed playing this season and enjoyed how the defense performed," said Carey. "The issues he may have had last season, those issues don't currently exist."

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on January 7, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Permalink



Posted by: Dave | Jan 7, 2010 10:34:36 AM

Peppers will be back as a Carolina Panther next season.

Posted by: Reggie | Jan 7, 2010 10:41:11 AM

i bet if jake would have finish the season out, peppers would be gone, nobody wants to play under jake as the qb, they should know this by now..moore is the qb of the future

Posted by: tim | Jan 7, 2010 10:43:07 AM

Don't worry Hurney will mess this up too!

Posted by: REaltree71 | Jan 7, 2010 10:44:52 AM

Dave, I will second that one.

Posted by: Nathan | Jan 7, 2010 10:46:46 AM

Sign Pep...Give him the money...He is a beast...But Jake will take the wind out of anybodies sails...Start Mat and make everybody happy...Fans will come...Money will flow and everything will be good as we ride into the playoffs...

Posted by: MoveMe | Jan 7, 2010 10:49:03 AM

This sure sounds like an open door for the Panthers to lock him up for the long term. Let's make it happen!!!!

Posted by: Eric | Jan 7, 2010 10:50:31 AM

I think Peppers really found himself this season. For whatever reason, maybe playing under meeks, he just seemed more focused this year. I saw him several times making tackles against the run. That has always been my beef, that he took plays off. I certainly saw less of that this year. Keep him if we don't have to break the bank... Get rid of Delhomme nowwwwwwwwwww

Posted by: carson m | Jan 7, 2010 10:52:43 AM

I'm sick and tired of hearing about how not signing him will release him without compensation to the team. That's OK!! Teams lose top tier free agents every single year...this situation does not required the Panthers to sign him in order to get picks...just let him walk if we can't come to terms on fair contract!!

Posted by: anonymous | Jan 7, 2010 10:52:50 AM

this isn’t a difficult decision. 90 is still one of the better DE's in the league. They should offer him a contract that reflects that. If he wants to become the highest paid defensive player, then that doesn’t make sense for the Panthers to tie up that amount of long-term cash at his age. If a contract can't be worked out, franchise him. Maybe you get picks for him. If he stays then it only hurts Jerry's wallet...and it will be an uncapped yr next season…. so a one yr high payout rental may get the best effort out of him and you still have the ability to go out and sign FAs, keeping in mind that Peppers wouldn’t be a cap burden after the 2010 season...

Posted by: ....duh | Jan 7, 2010 10:54:52 AM

You have to sign him its not even an option, plus if you extend him enough years in the deal he finishes here and could possibly be our 1st hall of fame player.... You can get him under what he played for this year (per season) if you give him a long enough deal which would give you a star player and reduce the Cap number....

Posted by: spaceytoyz | Jan 7, 2010 10:56:17 AM

sign peppers. Let meeks keep running the defense and start Moore. No other team is going to pay for Jake so we are stuck with him until his contract expires.

Posted by: ip | Jan 7, 2010 10:57:39 AM

nobody minds giving an athlete 20mm a yr but when it comes to bankers who have college degrees or graduate degrees and work 70-80 hrs per week make a million bucks everyone makes a scene. The people who criticize are those who have no idea how much work is involved in banks. Peppers is not worth 1mm a yr. If Im giving 20mm..20mm seriously..he better do more than come up with a few sacks..

Posted by: overpaid_ath | Jan 7, 2010 10:58:28 AM

This is a no-brainer....Get er dun! sign Peppers

Posted by: Tony | Jan 7, 2010 11:00:32 AM

Risk losing him without compensation? How about using that 20 mil to sign a great receiver or 2? Maybe enough money left over to replace Kedrick on the o-line.Yes, Peppers is a great player WHEN MOTIVATED, but anyone can be replaced.

Posted by: gggreer | Jan 7, 2010 11:02:46 AM

Sign Pep NOW. Period.

Posted by: BC | Jan 7, 2010 11:05:15 AM

Peppers Rules, Sign him to long term with no hesitation.

Posted by: Derek | Jan 7, 2010 11:05:44 AM

we need to pay him and keep him if he go alotwill go to you will see let go of that no good a...... QB jack and let moor be the man ,, he is the one for us if moor be the man .they.all will stay and we will win it all ,,,

Posted by: jonathan taylor | Jan 7, 2010 11:05:57 AM

So.... Whats the hold up? I mean really.

Posted by: Chuck | Jan 7, 2010 11:10:39 AM

You would think they would already have some sort of plan put together. Watch Hurney F this one up somehow!

Posted by: Jdub | Jan 7, 2010 11:19:13 AM

Doesnt make sense to pay him for up and down performances!

Posted by: Just Reis | Jan 7, 2010 11:19:45 AM

Are you really comparing a banker to Julius Peppers? Facts are facts bankers are found all over the country. There is only 1 Julius Peppers. It is about talent and scarcity. There are very few people who have talent like Peppers. I hope the Panthers bring Pep back. As far as the bankers go. You guys need to figure out a new way to swindle people before you start whining about working 80 hours a week. I know a lot of cops and school teachers who work 70 hours a week for a lot less than you crooks and they are whining about their pay.

Posted by: overpaid Banker | Jan 7, 2010 11:20:15 AM

Get him signed.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 7, 2010 11:21:00 AM

Peppers needs to stay!! Keep in mind that the defense was playing without 3 of its starters, Kemo, Davis and Johnson. Just imagine the possibilities next year when they return. Plus we got some fairly decent play out of the secondary. The Defense will be scary next year! All we need is a number 2 and 3 receiver and to settle the QB issue. How about we bring in Jason Campbell(who never got a fair shot in DC, How many coordinators did he have??)to compete with Matt Moore for the starting job. Plain and simple Jake is no longer a factor other than his contract.

Posted by: Shawn | Jan 7, 2010 11:24:22 AM

Offer a contract tht is fair overall to the Panthers organization.
Given his age and performance patterns (not just the last few games) This contract value may not reach the $20 Million 'franchise tag leveel. So be it -- Pep can decide to move on if he does now want to take the Panthers offer.

Posted by: Peterfin | Jan 7, 2010 11:25:43 AM

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