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  • De Peppers Very Very Interesting...

    Peppers hope Panthers grant wish, let him leave
    By MIKE CRANSTON, AP Sports Writer
    28 minutes ago

    Buzz up!56 votes PrintCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—Julius Peppers was polite, insistent that he has no problems with his coaches and stressed that North Carolina will always be his home.

    The four-time Pro Bowl defensive end just doesn’t want to play for Carolina anymore—and hopes the Panthers grant the impending free agent his wish by not placing the franchise tag on him.

    “If they decide to use the tag on me, the first thing that I’ll be doing is requesting a trade,” Peppers said Saturday. “Then anything after, basically I don’t know what would be the course of action. We’ll deal with that when that time comes.”

    In a conference call with reporters—Peppers’ first extended interview since his agent announced last month he wouldn’t sign a long-term deal with the Panthers—Peppers focused on his desire to leave coach John Fox’s 4-3 defensive system to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

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    And he hopes Carolina fans eventually respect his intentions to leave.

    “You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do and played seven years, or worked seven years and when that contract expired, you wanted to do something different and you were told basically, ‘I know you did all that and fulfilled what you’re supposed to do, but you’ve still got to stay,”’ Peppers said of the negative fan reaction.

    “I don’t think people would be willing to live under those same standards that they want to place on me. I say put yourself in my shoes and look at the situation instead of being emotional about it.”

    For Peppers, it’s simply about playing in a new system he hopes will better feature his freakish athletic ability. While Peppers wouldn’t say which teams he’s eyeing, Pittsburgh, New England, the New York Jets and Miami are among those with a 3-4 defense.

    “I feel like my abilities could be maximized and I could be even more productive than I have been in the past in a new system,” Peppers said. “I feel like I’ve gotten close to maxing out in the system that I’m in now.”

    It’s the only system the Bailey, N.C., native and former North Carolina star has played in as a pro. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 draft, the 6-foot-7 Peppers is Carolina’s all-time sacks leader and recorded a career-high 14 1/2 this season, when he was selected to the Pro Bowl again after a one-year absence.

    Losing the cornerstone of the defense would be a big blow for the Panthers, who have a big decision to make before Thursday’s deadline to designate one player for the franchise tag.

    It’s complicated by the impending free agency of starting left tackle Jordan Gross, who played under the franchise tag this past season. The Panthers would like to sign Gross to a long-term deal, then they could possibly tag Peppers and trade him.

    Placing the franchise tag on Peppers would force the Panthers to offer a one-year deal for a whopping $16.7 million. But it would mean no team could sign him without giving Carolina first-round picks. That would allow the Panthers to work out a trade for less, but still get something in return for losing the key cog of their defensive line.

    “I’m not going comment at all,” general manger Marty Hurney said, when reached by phone Saturday after Peppers’ conference call.

    If Peppers left, the remaining defensive ends on the roster would be Tyler Brayton, Charles Johnson and Hilee Taylor, who combined for 11 1/2 sacks last season. The Panthers also do not have a first-round pick in April’s draft, something they would likely insist on obtaining in a trade.

    Peppers said he has no idea what the Panthers will do, and wouldn’t say if he would hold out of offseason workouts and training camp if the Panthers keep him.

    However, Peppers did offer some advice.

    “If it was my decision, this is what I would do: Jordan Gross has come and stated that he wants to sign an extension with the Panthers,” Peppers began. “We’ve got one player who says he does and one player that says he wants to move on and try something different. If I was in that situation, I would try to accommodate the guy that wants to be there, No. 1 priority.”

    The 29-year-old Peppers, who turned down Carolina’s lucrative contract extension before last season, insisted he didn’t decide he wanted to leave until after the Panthers’ disappointing 33-13 loss to Arizona in the NFC divisional playoffs, where Peppers was held without a sack.

    There had been speculation the quiet and reserved Peppers wanted to leave his home state, where he’s often barraged with autograph requests when he’s in public.

    “If I were to sit here and say that had nothing to do with it, that wouldn’t be the truth,” Peppers said on the prospect of leaving North Carolina. “But it’s not as big of a deal as people may think it is.

    “It’s really more about me getting to the point where I feel like I’m happy and I’m comfortable with what I’m doing and how my career is going. North Carolina is home for me and it’s always going to be home.”

    But after seven years and 60 1/2 sacks, Peppers wants a new professional home.

    “Seven years is a long time,” Peppers said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve given everything I’ve had. There’s never been a time I wasn’t giving my all. Basically, it’s a situation where I feel like it’s a point in my career where I want to do different things.”

  • #2
    it would be cool if he ended up in denver
    i wouldnt be supprised if he ended up somewhere where nobody expects him to go
    Now go get your shine box

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    • #3
      Rex Ryan and the Jets won't get him, I think they are already over the salary cap. We will probably switch to 3-4, so he could be an important piece. I know his attitude sounds like a diva attack but the guy wants to play OLB, it is his right. And there is a very good chance that he will be a solid 3-4 OLB.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        The worst thing that could happen for Peppers is for the Panthers to sign Gross to a cap friendly deal before the deadline to tag someone. If they do that, they will tag Peppers. The best thing that can happen for Peppers is for Gross to demand more than the Panthers are willing to pay so that they decide to tag Gross instead.

        I think this is really just a ploy by Peppers to try his best to hit the open market so he can get as big of a contract as he can possibly get, regardless of what system he plays in. I think he would be happy to play in Carolina if they give him a big fat contract that pays more than what any other team offers him.
        My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
        You Mad Bro?
        Don’t Be A Mean Girl

        Comment


        • #5
          I dont see why he wouldn't want to keep playing DE in a 3-4. He is big enough and could be one of the better 3-4 DE's.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Uglybass View Post
            I dont see why he wouldn't want to keep playing DE in a 3-4. He is big enough and could be one of the better 3-4 DE's.
            im pretty sure hes playing as a 4-3 DE and hes pretty dang good at it to. but at this point its a question of whether he would be better as a 4-3 DE who happens to be fast, or as an already fast 3-4 OLB who happens to be really really big.

            if i were him i would definatly want to switch over to a 3-4. i mean speed is only so important as a 4-3 DE seeing as the only time you would need it is AFTER you've broken through and are chasing down the QB (btw im talking about speed not quickness, we all know he has that too). on the other hand, just imagine him playing as an OLB who has the linear speed to keep up with half of our recievers IN ADDITION to being about 25 pounds heavier then the average OLB is. thats how you utilize a "freak"
            disclaimer: if the above post appears to contain outrageously illogical content, ITS PROBABLY SARCASM

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            • #7
              I think if he went to a 3-4 he would be everything Merrimen was for the bolts....if not better

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              • #8
                Originally posted by broncos1997 View Post
                im pretty sure hes playing as a 4-3 DE and hes pretty dang good at it to. but at this point its a question of whether he would be better as a 4-3 DE who happens to be fast, or as an already fast 3-4 OLB who happens to be really really big.

                if i were him i would definatly want to switch over to a 3-4. i mean speed is only so important as a 4-3 DE seeing as the only time you would need it is AFTER you've broken through and are chasing down the QB (btw im talking about speed not quickness, we all know he has that too). on the other hand, just imagine him playing as an OLB who has the linear speed to keep up with half of our recievers IN ADDITION to being about 25 pounds heavier then the average OLB is. thats how you utilize a "freak"
                I think you misunderstood what he was saying. He was saying that Peppers could keep playing the DE position in a 3-4. It's not a far fetched idea. Bruce Smith played in the 3-4 and he was about 285 lbs. Although Smith might have been a bit bulkier as he was not as tall as Peppers is.
                My Opinion isn’t determined by what the Popular Opinion is. Sometimes I agree with the Majority, Sometimes I Don’t. If My Opinion is Different than Yours, I have to Ask One Question:
                You Mad Bro?
                Don’t Be A Mean Girl

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jc13 View Post
                  it would be cool if he ended up in denver
                  i wouldnt be supprised if he ended up somewhere where nobody expects him to go
                  Absolutely not. We have too many holes on D to spend 17 mill on one player.
                  Draft Clay Matthews Jr.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Isnt he gonna knock his asking price down by requesting to play LB in a 3-4, he would get big money as a DE but he will be asking a team to pay him a huge contract, and experiment with him by making him an outside LB ? I bet a team would also have to promise to play him at LB no matter what, i mean what if he is a bust as a LB? will he agree to go back to end? I think he just wants out of Carolina so he can go to a top contender and win a ring, i think the whole formation thing may be a smoke screen.
                    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by theshiverman View Post
                      Isnt he gonna knock his asking price down by requesting to play LB in a 3-4, he would get big money as a DE but he will be asking a team to pay him a huge contract, and experiment with him by making him an outside LB ? I bet a team would also have to promise to play him at LB no matter what, i mean what if he is a bust as a LB? will he agree to go back to end? I think he just wants out of Carolina so he can go to a top contender and win a ring, i think the whole formation thing may be a smoke screen.
                      I'm not sure how the whole salary thing would work if he switched positions. But I highly doubt he would be looking to switch if it dropped his value. And I dont think the "contender" status is really part of it because Carolina is a contender. They were the number 2 seed and had a legit shot at the Super Bowl. Dellhome just picked the wrong time to have a bad day.
                      Draft Clay Matthews Jr.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He would be a great addition to our D-line! But the only problem is that I think I've read somewhere that says he wants to play in a 3-4 instead.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blackclouds View Post
                          I'm not sure how the whole salary thing would work if he switched positions. But I highly doubt he would be looking to switch if it dropped his value. And I dont think the "contender" status is really part of it because Carolina is a contender. They were the number 2 seed and had a legit shot at the Super Bowl. Dellhome just picked the wrong time to have a bad day.
                          I dont see his value as an unproven LB being as much as his value as an all pro DE, but i could be wrong, as far as the contender thing, yes i know the panthers had a shot last year and some years ago they met the pats in the super bowl, but i dont see them as a team thats contending for the championship every season , when i think contender i think Colts, Pats or Steelers, i think these are the type of teams he will be talking to when a trade request is made.
                          "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by theshiverman View Post
                            I dont see his value as an unproven LB being as much as his value as an all pro DE, but i could be wrong, as far as the contender thing, yes i know the panthers had a shot last year and some years ago they met the pats in the super bowl, but i dont see them as a team thats contending for the championship every season , when i think contender i think Colts, Pats or Steelers, i think these are the type of teams he will be talking to when a trade request is made.
                            Agreed. And I'm sure most coaches that are interested in him will bring up the same point if it comes to negotiations... but obviously in his mind he must think he can make close to the same salary. Do you really think that Peppers is the kind of guy who would give up several million dollars just to see if he could do well in a different position? I dont think he would accept a dramatic decrease in pay and I dont think the top tier teams are going to be willing to pay what he is worth now. And I do feel that Carolina has every bit as much a chance at the championship as the teams you listed and would not be surprised to see them make multiple runs at it over the next couple years. The only reason we have not seen them there more is the fact that they play in quite possibly the most competitive division.

                            Oh and just a bonus piece... the Panthers have the highest postseason win percentage in the league at .667
                            Draft Clay Matthews Jr.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not interested in him

                              he's 29 and he wants to play Outer Linebacker. I'm not giong to give a huge contract to a defensive end that wants to be an outer linebacker even though he's never played there.........no thanks


                              sigpic


                              FA Targets: DT Jason Jones, DT Pat Simms, S Reggie Smith, LB Dan Connor



                              :cool:

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