Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No.90 returns

After months of curious speculation about why Julius Peppers wouldn't or hadn't signed the one-year, $16-million-plus deal the Panthers have provided him for 2009 under the franchise tag, suddenly he's signed it.

So let me admit this right off: I was wrong. I opined in a "Scott Says" blog on May 27 that I thought Peppers was going to hold out at least awhile in training camp, which begins Aug.2 at Spartanburg. After all, he already skipped the minicamp and summer school. Why not skip a couple of days at Sparkle City, too?

But no, Peppers has now resurfaced again, as has his agent Carl Carey, and it sounds like life is hunky-dory once more for Carolina and Peppers. A training-camp holdout would make no sense now that Peppers has contractually obligated himself to the team once more.

That has looked like the way it would turn out for awhile now -- even me and my pessimistic self didn't think there was any way Peppers would extend his holdout into the season, thereby turning down more than $1 million per game.

Just the timing of this signing is curious. It will certainly make a lot of NFL news, because this is the "dead period" for the NFL, meaning that even a "not-really-a-surprise" story like this will get major play for the next 24 hours or so.

In any event, this is good news for the Panthers. Even though they are having to pay through the nose to do so, they need Peppers given the defensive front four they currently have. They are a better team with him than without him. And since Peppers is well-liked (although little-understood) by most of his teammates, he will be accepted back into the embrace of Carolina's defense with little problem.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Teammates welcome him back? Yes. Fans -- not so much.

Bruce said...

Peppers now becomes the most overpaid player in the NFL. DEs should be about much more than sacks.Peppers gets run over against the running game of opponents on a regular basis, and he isn't the playmaker he once was even against the pass.

panfan1 said...

I'm a Pepper, He's a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

Anonymous said...

I was hoping he would sit out the whole season and lose the 1 million plus a game salary that we are now going to have to pay. That would have freed up some money to sign some guys off waiver after preseason. I'm not for for paying anyone that kind of money ... much less a player who doesn't want to be here. He doesn't hate losing like the great players do. We would be better off with less talented players who make average money and have heart than guys who take up half the payroll on defense who really doesn't care if we win or lose.

Anonymous said...

"We would be better off with less talented players who make average money and have heart"

And thats why you are not paid to coach an NFL franchise

CBDellinger said...

Scott, it happens... we are all wrong from time to time. Manning up and admitting it makes up for that tho.

Kudos.

Walter said...

Except for the amount he's getting paid, this is going to be good for the Panthers. Peppers can't mail it in this year if he expects to get paid a lot to play on a team with a 3-4. And our defense will benefit from him being there, presumably playing hard. And we will have more depth on D. I'm happy about this.

Web Full Circle Team Lead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I don't understand; how could he have had positive discussions with the Panthers recently? I thought the Panthers were prohibited from talking with Julius until he signed the tender?
Unless his agent was having the positive discussions....

AL B

Anonymous said...

He is STILL just another typical whiner tarhole. Typical.

Anonymous said...

Why was Julius so thick headed
about all this. Someone needs to
shake these fella and wake him up.
Every other player in the NFL would
give anything to have his situation of being able to play in their home state, a Tarheel playing for the Panthers; red carpet tratrment everywhere he goes in NC and SC for that matter, and at a million a game, well I guess that is just all gravy. He should kiss the floor every morning, thanking God for all these his blessings.

Coastal Cat said...

Give the MAN some credit....AND some love. We're primed for the big dance now.

sgb17 said...

i'm not happy about this at all....true panther fans understand that the type of franchise jerry wants to run is one of loyalty... pep turned his back when he complained about the way he was being utilized in fox's defensive scheme. then all of the sudden he thinks everything is ok??? i don't buy it. pep provided some good D over the years, but, i still say hit the bricks. anyone who has an ounce of a brain knows that he's gonna be gone after this season...pep...we loved ya...thanks for the good times...but, bye. seeya.

Leonard said...

Loyalty in professional sports?
That is funny.. Peppers was doing what he thought was best for him and I thinmk that he has realized that he went about it the wrong way. Now he is back for at least one year and he is trying to make mends just like anyone else. As soon as he gets his first sack or turnover all you haters are going to start cheering for him.

MichaelProcton said...

Some credit for what? Making it almost impossible to trade him? Making ridiculous contract demands (a "Haynesworth deal" or better?) Being invisible against good teams and in the playoffs?

James said...

Scott do you think the Bobcats will draft Gerald Henderson tomorrow? Maybe?

Anonymous said...

"Peppers now becomes the most overpaid player in the NFL. DEs should be about much more than sacks.Peppers gets run over against the running game of opponents on a regular basis, and he isn't the playmaker he once was even against the pass."

BS. Peppers is above average against the run. There's a reason why the coaches don't take him out of the game unless fatigue or injury forces them.

Anonymous said...

First, I think the franchise tender amount is pre-determined by some formula agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, not by Peppers making some outrageous contract demand. Second, I don't recall Peppers ever whining or complaining about how he was being used. The statement said that he wanted to move on. I agree that the trade demand stipulating only four teams was ridiculous, but the NFL is a business. Him requesting a trade is a business decision. Don't take things so personally. It's just sports.

Anonymous said...

Every season, Peppers puts our jaws on the floor on Sportscenter and we vote him to the Probowl. The other 12 Sundays, number 90 is an average NFL defensive end.

I thought I was one of the few who knew it. This offseason proved NFL GMs and coaches also know this.

Now, Peppers knows it too. For such an elite athlete, he is a disappointing football player

Anonymous said...

14.5 sacks last year and he wasn't trying hard all the time people say. Who else in the league can give you 14.5 sacks and take plays off? I'll welcome him back and hope we get at least 14.5 and what other DE's drop back in coverage as much as he did? New defensive co-ordinator maybe new Peppers? I can't wait to see!!!!!

Anonymous said...

PANTHERS! After Pep buries McNabb a few times in the first game, everyone will be happy he is in Panther Blue. The NFL is a business, and Pep was trying to watch his own back. He's not an outspoken guy, I'm sure he was given some bad advice and pressure from the outside, and put himself in a bad position. He signed, basically apologized, he's back, and I will embrace it. If he left it would have been a huge hole, now, Panthers are a Super Bowl contender!

Anonymous said...

Hmm.... Let's give the Panthers Front Office some credit. Pep is staying AND signed before training camp. That's a HUGE thing.

MichaelProcton said...

9:45, he dropped into coverage once or twice a game. TONS of DEs do that! See: Taylor, Jason; Adams, Gaines; Smith, Justin; Tuck, Justin.

Bruce said...

Sure, give the Panthers GM credit for signing Peppers and getting him into camp before he became a distraction. However, Hurney & crew are very mistaken in spending such huge $ on an inconsistent player. This offseason the Steelers signed the best defensive player in the league to a long-term deal--James Harrision willbe making about $8M per year, and he's waaay better than Peppers is!

Peppers lacks grit and heart, and yes he's not as concerned about winning as the truly great players are--