Monday, February 9, 2009

On Peppers, Gross and franchising


The Pro Bowl is over, and Julius Peppers looked in that game like the girl who once dumped you and then you see her at a party. She looks better than ever, and everyone's watching her dance, and you start channeling the J. Geils Band and screaming at the top of your lungs: "Love stinks, yeah yeah, Love stinks."

OK, maybe that was just something that happened to me one time.

As for Peppers -- one sack (above), one interception and a co-starring role in the NFC's Pro Bowl win Sunday -- that's actually a good thing. Panther fans needed him to look good in that one, because he's about to be gone, and that will be the most recent impression many GMs and coaches have of him as he's dangled as trade bait. (And of course, he's gone -- that awkward sideline TV interview with Tiki Barber should have removed any lingering doubt).

So the Panthers need to get Jordan Gross's contract deal worked out -- and soon -- so they can franchise Peppers without losing the rights to Gross. Gross now holds a full house in this poker game, as he knows that Carolina MUST franchise Peppers and so therefore is obligated to set him totally free on the open market in a few weeks if that's the way he wants it.

I still am betting Gross and the Panthers get a deal done within the next 10 days and that Peppers gets the franchise tag and that the Panthers then trade Peppers on or before draft day in April. That would certainly be the Panthers' plan, if they would admit to it publicly (and understandably, they won't).

But you know what they say about the best-laid plans... Gross has an Opie demeanor, but if he ends up playing hardball, then Carolina may be over a barrel and end up losing both of these Pro Bowl players for 2009 instead of just one.

13 comments:

stickyd said...

Screw Peppers! He acts like we're the ones who held him back and prevented him from making plays? It's just amazing! He thrived for years in the 4-3, completely disappeared and look lazy last year, just come back during his contract year and play well. To put that blame of the scheme, team or coaches is just idiotic! A DE isn't a WR or RB that the team needs to cater to his style or make sure he gets the ball. Peppers is a dumb, god-gifted athlete that's just asked to go after the QB on every play and occasionally stop the run. So let Pep blame the organization and turn his back on the fans who have supported him his entire career. It's pretty evident that he isn't a leader after the debacle that occurred when Minter left. Franchise him, get a 1st and 2nd round pick for him and let the door hit him in his a$$ on the way out! Later Pep. I hope you fail miserably!

panthersphan said...

stickyd - I agree 100%

Andrew said...

Peppers is one of the best defensive players in the NFL.......when he feels like it.

DaRealPanther said...

One piece to all this is weird to me. Does he not realize that a 3-4 is harder for a DE to flourish in than our 4-3 scheme? It would be harder on him to be dominant,especially given the fact he takes off so many plays. Why not just be truthful with everyone? And admit he is following Jenkins in his quest to be around more hollywood actors and glitzy club life. Beware "Big Country" that nightlife will ruin your career and ruin the great foundation/name you've made for yourself here-ask Plax

nebcatfan said...

Seems to me that chris jenkins relationship with the panthers soured as the yrs went by....makes one wonder how much big-ole #77 still visits with #90? they both seemed to think that elsewhere is better....also it seems to me that the alltime leading sack monster who played for some team up ny also played in a 4-3....it's not the scheme its the want to....when he wants to #90 is all that he can be...great....when he appears uninspired be becomes average....I will say this in #90's defense...I can not think of another player who gets held, mugged and flatout rapped by OT's in the league than him and the only thing I wonder about at times was why the panthers dropped him into coverage so 2-3 times each ballgame....that seemed like it happened way to often....to me that is like asking the playmaker #89 is to be a pure decoy on 2-3 key passing downs each games....

James said...

Would I be the only one that found it amusing if Peppers tore his acl, pcl, and mcl in the pro bowl last night? I know we wouldn't get any value for him, but it would be high comedy.

Ronnie said...

James wishing that on anybody is just wrong! I agree with most of you guys here, but I think some of us really don't know the innder workings of football and speak too soon about his situation. A 3-4 defense is not necessarily harder for a DE depending on the scheme. Peppers would be great in Baltimore's scheme because it's mostly short zone coverage and more freedom to rush the passer. In the 4-3, Peppers has to be more disciplined because he has to maintain a gap on runs. I agree at times he looks like he's not motivated, but the sword cuts both ways on this one. He is doubled way too much and rarely gets any kind of help with creative blitzs. It may be a blessing for him to leave though to save movey now and get some draft picks!

CEEMIX said...

I was not aware that Kerry Collins had a brother.

Vikram said...

Why are we fans after Pep? Just because he has played out his contract without uttering a word and now wants to go? What wrong has he done? Next year, if Steve Smith does the same, will we be after him this way?

If he says he can not realize his true potential here, why are we getting so mad at it? Classic case of "Grapes are Sour". Trying to pull down something we can never reach.

Lets get to the point. Carolina Panthers is a team with "NO KILLER INSTINCT". Real talent won't thrive here. We are at best a mediocre team (benefitting from a easy schedule) whose gameplan is based on "hoping the other team makes a mistake". I am not suggesting what needs to be done to fix it as I am just a mere fan. All I can say is this team does not ignite fire and passion.

Unfortunately here a "Punt is not a bad play". So why blame Peppers? Let him thrive elsewhere while we lament(and bicker)about what we just lost.

The only way this team can even dream of reaching the Super Bowl again is to get a full team of people with HEART (not cowards and ultra-conservative idiots).

"It is what it is". Literally.

cesco said...

Vikram, You hit it on the nose!!! Personally, I never thought that Peppers was worth the money....I go to every single game and I spend alot of time watching him. He is definitely not worth the money! See ya'll. Cesco

Brandon said...

Vikram...the Panthers have no killer instinct? Name one player in the NFL who plays with more killer instinct than 89. Beason is lighting people up as consistently as anybody. And Jake, say what you will, the man plays with fire. It's just a toss up as to who will get burned...good guys or bad guys. "benefiting from an easy schedule"? The NFC South overtook the big bad East midway through the season as the most competitive division in football. Bottom line, the talent is there and so is the fire. Peppers wants out. Ok, so what - he's a Sportscenter player - One amazing play a game for the Top 10 Plays of the Day then disappears taking up space. Some other team will realize that soon enough. Sell high/Buy low!

CEEMIX said...

Vikram, since you want to bring politics into this discussion... I guess you support the "stimilus" package because you think it will create a defensive end with heart.

Michael said...

The reason Peppers appeared to stand out in the PB is that the playing field was equalized. The only thing missing from Peppers' arsenal (effort) was taken out of the bag for the other players as well; it was the Pro Bowl. When your best games come against the KC, DET, and OAKs of the world while you're invisible when the games matter most (23 tackles, 2 sacks in 8 playoff games...THAT'S HALF A SEASON!), there's clearly a pattern established. The guy does well when his natural talent can overcome his own lack of effort to refine his fundamentals and his skills, much less to play as hard as possible every play.

DRP, it's pretty clear he'd want to be an OLB in a 3-4, not a DE.

nebcat, when that sack leader played in NY, I've heard he was under the direct tutelage of some guy we have on staff right now. But hey, a guy like Peppers will never let facts get in the way of HIS argument.