The Panthers got some good news this week when franchise player Julius Peppers signed his franchise tender, keeping him in Carolina for at least one more season. Peppers will be a very rich man this year, as by signing the tender he can make up to $19.183 million this season.
Now though comes the news that Peppers is also open to long-term deal, something that as about a month or two ago seemed impossible. Peppers made it known that he wanted out of Carolina, but now seems to be changing his stance that he really wouldn’t mind hanging around.
“Julius has always had tremendous respect for the individuals in the organization, and he had the opportunity to sit down face to face and talk with the people he’s had great respect for,” agent Carl Carey said to the Charlotte Observer. “Sometimes it takes a discussion to begin to understand each other’s perpectives.”
Peppers himself spoke in glowing terms about looking to sign a long term deal to stay a cat. “I’ve had positive and productive discussions with the organization,” Peppers said in the statement. . “I am optimistic and focused as I look forward to the upcoming NFL season.”
The question will be – is anyone out there really interested in spending the type of money Peppers wants on the DE? If the Panthers had gotten a solid offer for Peppers, wouldn’t they have moved him at some point before the draft?
Sounds like Peppers and the Panthers might be the best, and only match for each other. Even if the Panthers had visions of moving Peppers, they for whatever reason didn’t find what they wanted on the market. For Peppers, the best chance for big money is probably to stay put and play with a team that has the makings of being a playoff team again in 2009.