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Julius Peppers (1 Viewer)

Rozelle

Moderator
After spending his entire life in North Carolina, Julius Peppers wants out.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive end has decided he won't sign a long-term deal with the Carolina Panthers when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 26.

Peppers, who grew up in tiny Bailey, N.C., starred in college at North Carolina and was the Panthers' first-round draft pick in 2002, believes Carolina's defensive system isn't for him -- even after recording a career-high 14.5 sacks this season.

"He loves the state of North Carolina. His family is there. The easier situation for him would be to stay in Carolina," Peppers' agent, Carl Carey, said Saturday. "But the decision that he faced was, do I stay in Carolina and perhaps never reach my full potential? Or do I open myself to the possibilities to finish my career elsewhere? He chose the latter."

Carey said Peppers wants to play in a 3-4 defense. The Panthers use a 4-3 alignment.

"He certainly feels that he can excel and thrive in a 3-4 defense," Carey said. "He is also open to just another system in general that will allow him to maximize his athletic abilities."

Peppers' decision leaves the Panthers with a big decision to make.

The team could place the franchise tag on Peppers, which would virtually force him to stay with the Panthers. Under that scenario, another team could sign Peppers only by giving Carolina two first-round draft picks in return.

But doing that would mean the Panthers would have to give Peppers a one-year deal worth a whopping $16.7 million. And Peppers also could decide to hold out.

The Panthers used the franchise tag this season on starting left tackle Jordan Gross, who'll also become an unrestricted free agent and command a large contract, leaving Carolina with salary-cap concerns.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, who was informed of Peppers' decision in a meeting with Carey in Houston on Thursday, did not return phone calls Saturday but released a statement through a team spokesman.

"Obviously, Carl's comments are disappointing," Hurney said. "We have consistently reiterated to Carl in a number of ways how much we value Julius, and we plan to continue having ongoing communications."

The Panthers have been trying to sign Peppers to an extension for the past two years. But Peppers, in a statement released by Carey, said he wants to go elsewhere.

Julius Peppers, DE

Carolina Panthers

"I am seeking new challenges that will allow me to grow, develop and reach my personal potential on the football field," Peppers said. "I strongly feel that making a move at this time is in my best interest. I appreciate the entire Panthers' organization and am thankful for the seven seasons I've spent with the team."

Peppers, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 draft, became a starter from Day One. He reached the Pro Bowl three consecutive years from 2004 to 2006 before an awful 2007 season where he recorded only 2.5 sacks.

The Panthers moved Peppers from left defensive end to the right side this season, and his big numbers returned, and he was picked for the Pro Bowl again. However, Peppers was held to two tackles and no sacks in Carolina's shocking 33-13 NFC divisional playoff loss to the Arizona Cardinals last weekend.

The defeat was part of a late-season defensive swoon for the Panthers, who allowed 30 or more points in six of their last seven games.

"Julius has tremendous respect for the coaching staff, and he has never been the type of guy that has wanted to change anything that the coaching staff was doing," Carey said. "He has submitted to their defense and has tried his very best to operate within it.

"He feels that despite the accolades and the achievements that he still has something more to offer. He feels that it's going to take a new system in order for that talent that he still has within himself to be tapped."

Carey wouldn't say what teams Peppers, who turns 29 Sunday, would like to join. Carey also declined to address speculation that the Panthers could place the franchise tag on Peppers and then trade him. The Kansas City Chiefs dealt defensive end Jared Allen to the Minnesota Vikings last year in exchange for a first-round pick and two third-round choices.

Peppers rules out a return to Carolina next season, agent says

This is going to be interesting. :football:

 
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.

He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.

 
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.

He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
You could see Carolina fire DC Mike Trgovac and bring in someone who will play a more aggressive scheme to appease Peppers and convince him to stay.
 
Rozelle said:
stevegamer said:
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.

He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
You could see Carolina fire DC Mike Trgovac and bring in someone who will play a more aggressive scheme to appease Peppers and convince him to stay.
I guess - but the defense there has been pretty good on the whole, I think. Once you start firing coaches & installing schemes to appease players, your franchise has issues. Of course, if they do that, I'm sure TO will be looking for a way to Carolina really quickly and to see if he can do the same on offense.Denver will be looking for help in their 3-4. Could be a good trade fit, since they are leaving a 4-3.

 
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Rozelle said:
stevegamer said:
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.

He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
You could see Carolina fire DC Mike Trgovac and bring in someone who will play a more aggressive scheme to appease Peppers and convince him to stay.
I guess - but the defense there has been pretty good on the whole, I think. Once you start firing coaches & installing schemes to appease players, your franchise has issues. Of course, if they do that, I'm sure TO will be looking for a way to Carolina really quickly and to see if he can do the same on offense.Denver will be looking for help in their 3-4. Could be a good trade fit, since they are leaving a 4-3.
Their rush defense gave up an average of 4.4 yards per carry for the season, which ranked 23rd in the NFL. That is by far the worst they've done in Fox's seven seasons. Their previous worst ranking was 12th, in 2003 and again in 2004. Pass defense was sub par also. So it's not like Trgovac's defense was lighting it up. As for the playoffs, they looked like the team to beat in the NFC. Usually someone is the scapegoat, maybe its Delhome who was horrendous, maybe its Trgovac. Is Carolina better off with Peppers or Trgovac? Maybe someone fresh from an attacking 4-3 scheme like Philadelphia DB coach Sean McDermott could persuade Peppers to stay. :goodposting: I wouldn't be surprised to see Trgovac get a pink slip for more reasons than to appease Peppers.

 
stevegamer said:
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
Which franchise lable would be more expensive, DE or OLB?Would the Panthers even have the choice or would they have to fanchise him as a DE since that is what he played this season.Also am I the only person who thinks Peppers couldn't play OLB? I think he would have trouble out in space.
 
stevegamer said:
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.

He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
Which franchise lable would be more expensive, DE or OLB?Would the Panthers even have the choice or would they have to fanchise him as a DE since that is what he played this season.

Also am I the only person who thinks Peppers couldn't play OLB? I think he would have trouble out in space.
I started a thread in the Shark Pool before I knew about this one. Anyway, just running the numbers quickly, it seems that franchising him as a DE would be way more expensive.Salary information taken from USAToday 2008 NFL Salaries

Also, I agree about him having trouble playing in space. He's a heck of an athlete, but he would certainly be the tallest LB in the league at 6-7 wouldn't he?

 
stevegamer said:
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.

He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
Which franchise lable would be more expensive, DE or OLB?Would the Panthers even have the choice or would they have to fanchise him as a DE since that is what he played this season.

Also am I the only person who thinks Peppers couldn't play OLB? I think he would have trouble out in space.
I started a thread in the Shark Pool before I knew about this one. Anyway, just running the numbers quickly, it seems that franchising him as a DE would be way more expensive.Salary information taken from USAToday 2008 NFL Salaries

Also, I agree about him having trouble playing in space. He's a heck of an athlete, but he would certainly be the tallest LB in the league at 6-7 wouldn't he?
"Couldn't play OLB" is probably too strong but I don't think he would be as good at it as a lot of people seem to think he will be
 
stevegamer said:
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.

He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
Which franchise lable would be more expensive, DE or OLB?Would the Panthers even have the choice or would they have to fanchise him as a DE since that is what he played this season.

Also am I the only person who thinks Peppers couldn't play OLB? I think he would have trouble out in space.
I started a thread in the Shark Pool before I knew about this one. Anyway, just running the numbers quickly, it seems that franchising him as a DE would be way more expensive.Salary information taken from USAToday 2008 NFL Salaries

Also, I agree about him having trouble playing in space. He's a heck of an athlete, but he would certainly be the tallest LB in the league at 6-7 wouldn't he?
Suggs went thru this and filed a grievance with Baltimore after they franchised him as a LB, DE costs more. Terrell Suggs entered his franchise free agency with a debate over whether he was a linebacker or a defensive end.

Thanks to an agreement by the Ravens, Suggs' agent, the Management Council and the NFL Players Association, Suggs gets the best of both worlds. The settlement, which is being finalized by lawyers for the NFLPA and the Management Council, creates a new position in franchise designations -- a defensive end-linebacker. Once the paperwork is completed later this week, Suggs, designated as a franchise linebacker, will be re-designated as a defensive end-linebacker, and his one-year franchise tender will increase from $8.065 million to around $8.5 million.

Suggs challenged his designation as a franchise linebacker by claiming he had more snaps as a defensive end than he did at linebacker last season. A franchise player is tendered at the average of the top five cap numbers at that position. The difference can be substantial. A franchise linebacker has a $8.065 million tender. A franchise defensive end has an $8.879 million tender.

The differences in negotiations are even more pronounced. The highest paid defensive ends -- Dwight Freeney of the Colts and Jared Allen of the Vikings -- make around $12 million a year. Top linebackers make in the $7.7 million to $7.8 million a year range.

For months, negotiations were stalled because of the debate over the position. Suggs filed a grievance, asking a Special Master to determine his true position. Being a team player, Suggs showed up at the first minicamp under first-year coach John Harbaugh to show him he was on board with his hiring.

Recently, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome went to Suggs' agent, Gary Wichard, with the idea of creating a hybrid position to move negotiations forward.

The new position doesn't officially have a name. It could be called "defensive end-linebacker." It could be called hybrid for the players who move between defensive end and linebacker during the course of games.

What Suggs and the Baltimore are hoping is that they can come together on a deal that will make Suggs a Raven for a long period of time.

At 6-7 he would be a beefier Ted Hendricks

 
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Well it looks like Trgovac isn't going anywhere

Speculation has swirled about Trgovac's status since the Panthers' 33-13 loss to Arizona in the playoffs and Carolina's late-season struggles on defense.

However, the Observer has learned that the team still wants Trgovac and he wants to stay. He has been offered a new contract and is expected to sign it soon. He is with the rest of the Panthers staff scouting for the team at the Senior Bowl this week.

The Panthers appear close to losing a third member of the coaching staff, linebackers coach Ken Flajole. He appears close to landing the defensive coordinator job with the St. Louis Rams, working with new head coach Steve Spagnola. At this time, it looks like the rest of the staff will return.

Trgovac expected to return

 
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
Not 100% sure how it works but I don't think you can franchise a player with the intention of trading him. Franchise tag is not for getting compensation, it is for keeping a player that a team might otherwise loose. If they can't get a trade then they might not be too happy paying so much for an aging (although still superior) DL (doubt they would be able to franchise him as an LB since he has never played LB).ETA: In one of the carolina threads in the SP someone noted that if they franchise Peppers that would put them 5-6 million over the cap next year. Doesn't seem like that is going to work.
 
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What team would sign him to play OLB, when after watching the tape, can see how many plays this guy takes off every game. He would get torched in coverage, and that's no joke. Sure he'd make a few plays, but he is a rush DE if I ever saw one. Get yer hand on the ground and pin your ears back Julius, it's what you do best. (when you want to)

 
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
Not 100% sure how it works but I don't think you can franchise a player with the intention of trading him. Franchise tag is not for getting compensation, it is for keeping a player that a team might otherwise loose. If they can't get a trade then they might not be too happy paying so much for an aging (although still superior) DL (doubt they would be able to franchise him as an LB since he has never played LB).ETA: In one of the carolina threads in the SP someone noted that if they franchise Peppers that would put them 5-6 million over the cap next year. Doesn't seem like that is going to work.
It could work just fine - if they deal him. You can absolutely trade a franchised player - the Chiefs franchised Jared Allen before last season - the Vikings wanted him, and they worked out a deal which was a 1st, 2 3rd, and a swap of 6ths or something like that.Maybe they would be best served putting a transition tag - I think that still exists - on him.
 
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Peppers is a lock for franchise, no way he walks without some compensation. The dude will land a 1rst if Carolina goes that route, highly doubtfull they do though considering their window.

as far as 3-4 LB, I'm mixed. I can see him drop back. I've seen him make a couple interceptions in the past, I'm sure a lot of that is the surprise element of a rush-DE suddenly dropping back on a hot route. But it is obvious that he's an superb athlete with the quicks to pull it off, not too many DEs do. As far as run-support, this part of his game has been the achilles of his game his whole career. I always thought he made strides in run-support after his rookie year, I remember teams would just run at him. He still doesn't hold his ground and shed blockers, he disappears all the time. I just can't see him being a great LB, his game is quicks and sacks

 
stevegamer said:
If I'm Carolina - I franchise him - at LB if possible, since he wants to be a 3-4 LB & trade him to a 3-4 team or just take draft pick compensation.He doesn't want to be there, he gets to go away, and I get something for him.
Not 100% sure how it works but I don't think you can franchise a player with the intention of trading him. Franchise tag is not for getting compensation, it is for keeping a player that a team might otherwise loose. If they can't get a trade then they might not be too happy paying so much for an aging (although still superior) DL (doubt they would be able to franchise him as an LB since he has never played LB).ETA: In one of the carolina threads in the SP someone noted that if they franchise Peppers that would put them 5-6 million over the cap next year. Doesn't seem like that is going to work.
It could work just fine - if they deal him. You can absolutely trade a franchised player - the Chiefs franchised Jared Allen before last season - the Vikings wanted him, and they worked out a deal which was a 1st, 2 3rd, and a swap of 6ths or something like that.Maybe they would be best served putting a transition tag - I think that still exists - on him.
I was not saying that they couldn't trade him, that happens all the time with franchise tags. There is a provision in the CBA though that states something to the effect that to protect the rights of the player a player may not be franchised with the intent of trading them. They have to "intend" to keep Peppers if they franchise him. They can't put the tag on him just to get compensation. That is to say: They can, but Peppers, or any other franchised player (Cassel) can file a grievience via the CBA to have the tag removed if they think it is not the intention of the team to keep them.
 
You could see Carolina fire DC Mike Trgovac and bring in someone who will play a more aggressive scheme to appease Peppers and convince him to stay.
Well it looks like Trgovac isn't going anywhere

Speculation has swirled about Trgovac's status since the Panthers' 33-13 loss to Arizona in the playoffs and Carolina's late-season struggles on defense.

However, the Observer has learned that the team still wants Trgovac and he wants to stay. He has been offered a new contract and is expected to sign it soon. He is with the rest of the Panthers staff scouting for the team at the Senior Bowl this week.

The Panthers appear close to losing a third member of the coaching staff, linebackers coach Ken Flajole. He appears close to landing the defensive coordinator job with the St. Louis Rams, working with new head coach Steve Spagnola. At this time, it looks like the rest of the staff will return.

Trgovac expected to return
NFL radio reporting today that Trovac decided to leave the Panthers.
 

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