Panthers Not Spicy Enough For Peppers
Total Pro Sports – In an article released earlier today it is reported that Julius Peppers of the Carolina Panthers wants out of Carolina. He is not going to sign a long term contract with the team that drafted him, Peppers, a North Carolina native has spent his entire football career in that state as he attended the University of North Carolina.
His agent thinks that staying in Carolina would be best for Peppers because that is where his family currently resides, he was quoted saying,
“He loves the state of North Carolina. His family is there. The easier situation for him would be to stay in Carolina.” and “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.”
We are not positive if this is the actual reason Julius wants out of Carolina, but if it is we have to agree that Peppers may flourish even more under a 3-4 defensive scheme. His athletic ability for a man that plays the defensive end position is truly extraordinary. If Peppers can hit the gym hard in the off season and shed 10 pounds he may be used in the same mold as Demarcus Ware or Terrell Suggs. These linebackers have redefined the position as they can also be thrown down in the three point stance and asked to rush the passer. The advantage Peppers has over these two great players is that he stands 3″ taller than them, I know scary thought!
The situation does get sticky in that the Panthers could put the franchise tag on Peppers which would virtually force him to stay, but if a team does go ahead and sign him they would have to send Carolina 2 first round draft picks. That is not the end of it, if a team does decide to sign Peppers, the Panthers could match and pay him max money 1 year deal worth $16.7 million.
Julius also made a statement to the media stating his reason for wanting to leave, he had this to say,
“I am seeking new challenges that will allow me to grow, develop and reach my personal potential on the football field,” and “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.”
Now that we know what Julius Peppers wants lets analyze where he would fit in nicely, lets take a look at teams that run the 3-4 defensive scheme and are in need of an athlete like Julius Peppers.
1. San Francisco 49ers – With Patrick Willis having a break through season that defense would be greatly improved with the addition of Peppers. I am sure that Peppers would also appreciate playing under another defensive minded coach, Mike Singletary may have been the epitome of defense in his playing days.
2. Miami Dolphins – We know that he would enjoy that warm Florida sun and the Miami Dolphins would love to have him. Joey Porter really took a leadership role in that locker room and field this year, the addition of a positive energy like the one Peppers brings could do wonders down south.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – Although the Steelers do not need anymore defensive help it is nice to imagine what could be.
4. Baltimore Ravens – Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Bartt Scott, Julius Peppers, I got visions of a record setting defense for 2009. The defense under Ray Lewis is already as intense a group of players as any roster in football.
5. San Diego Chargers – Shawne Merriman on one side of the line of scrimmage and Julius Peppers on the other, quarterbacks may never get the ball down the field.
6. New England Patriots – We do not know if New England has the cap room for a contract like the one Peppers will demand, but could you imagine the endless possibilities?
7. Dallas Cowboys – Similar to the San Diego Chargers, the Dallas Cowboys already have one great outside linebacker, the addition of Peppers would be a scary proposition to opponents quarterbacks.
Where do you think Julius Peppers could or would go?