Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Now that Fox seems settled.... What about Peppers?

John Fox sounds like he's come to terms with coming back in 2010. The Panther coach said on his radio show Monday night: "I see myself being back here a year from now."

So now that's settled -- Fox gets a make-or-break year for approximately $6 million in 2010. As I've written several times before -- including in my column Monday -- I would have handled this just like Jerry Richardson is doing. No extension, but no firing, either.

With few head-coaching jobs changing over -- and why would Fox even want to coach in a place like Buffalo or Cleveland? -- it only makes sense Fox would end up here. So I'm glad he has come to his senses on this -- he seemed angry about the whole issue after the game on Sunday.

Now onto the other biggest issue for the Panthers. With Fox apparently settled, that's got to be Julius Peppers, who would command more than $20 million for 2010 if the Panthers franchise him again.

Then again, though, it's looking like this is going to be an "uncapped" year, so renting Peppers for another year for $20 million likely would only hurt Jerry Richardson's wallet, not the team as a whole like it did last year (when giving Peppers a million per game hamstrung the team in other ways because No.90 took up so much of the cap).

So I'm not as sure as my colleague Tom Sorensen that Peppers won't play here again in 2010. Remember, the situation looked far more dire during the last offseason -- with Peppers publicly stating he wanted to go elsewhere -- and it still worked out. That just may happen again.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nah Delhomme hamstrung the team...
59qb rating...Peppers=pro bowl...If Jake would have played decent we would have went to the playoffs and no one would be worried about Peppers....

Anonymous said...

"So now that's settled -- Fox gets a make-or-break year for approximately $6 million in 2010."

You state 2010 being a make-or-break year for Fox. Is this fact? If it is, whats your source? If its inside speculation or your opinion, please write it as such.

Curtis said...

Anon @ 1:52...you don't need a source other than common sense for the obvious. The last year of a contract means there are no more years after that unless the owner decides you have made it (make/new contract) or have failed as a head coach (break/fired). That's about as straight forward as situations will ever get in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

The problem all along was Smith who even admitted he sucked bigtime and was a non-factor yet the idiots dont even believe it when it comes out of the horses mouth in self denial.

Had 6ft 4" WR Jarrett been used instead of 5'4" Smith then 6'4" Delhomne would have had no problems since Smith was doubled from day one and helpless.

Why not make Smith a handyman flanker or parttime RB who goes out for short slants or dumps and get him away from WR?

Size matters. Moore is nowhere near the calibre of QB as JD nor is a motivator or team leader.

Fox and Delhmone are a team whereever they end up since Jake is his boy.

Anonymous said...

That sounds pretty much like opinion. But it's a blog, guy. That's okay.

Anonymous said...

Anon@ 2:4...Wereidiots?.lol.Replace Smith with Jarret?I think speed,experience,heart,and a smart route runner is better than a unproven 6'4 guy...Moore didn't have a problem finding him.I'm mean what did you want Steve to say?That Jake sucked?He was being nice and didn't want to throw him under the bus...Don't believe everything you here...

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, "hear".For all you spell checkers.

Anonymous said...

I think it goes without saying that it's a make-or-break year for Fox. That's generally the case when anyone in the NFL goes into the last year of a contract without an extension. Granted, there are some extenuating circumstances here due to league negotiations with the NFLPA, but all in all if Fox and the Panthers don't live up to the Big Cat's expectations next season, Fox will be working elsewhere for in 2011. Did anyone in the organization come out and say that? Probably not, but when is it not make-or-break when an owner doesn't offer his coach a long term deal at this stage of their contract? Not sure why that needed to be explained, but there is it.

Anonymous said...

Well,Well,Well,with this situation concerning Foxy all I have to say is this.

Jeryy Richardson has always said he wants to emulate or copy cat the steelers of old with stability and style,so lets see,

Great running game-Check

Good Defense - Check

Adaquete Passing Game -Check

Head Coaching stability- ???????

If Richardson doesnt stand behind Fox and support Fox for what he has done and this team he has built,while once again wanting his franchise to mirror the steelers of old,then I call the man and will say it to his face a "Hypocrite".

If this is the case I call for new ownership of the Panthers,a person who doesnt flip flop or blow something up just because it doenst go perfect,in the nfl teams are grateful to go to the playoffs every other year versus once every 10 years.

Kenneth said...

Anonymous 2:49pm,

A person really has to work hard to be that stupid.

Anonymous said...

Don't really care if Fox stays or goes, but what I DO care about is that Hurney and Davidson GO and GO FAST through the door. Heck, I'll help them go.

They both deserve nothing more than to be unemployed and out of the league. They made dumb decisions, cost us a ton of money (fans and owners), and the play calling was well below high school.

As for the QB situation, I don't mind watching MM play....far better than the iffy JD situation has been of late. Give him the starter role and let's see what he's got!

Free bus tickets for Hurney and Davidson....free!

Curtis said...

Lol @ Kenneth...yeah, I almost felt like I lost a couple of football IQ points after reading that dude's post. Painful, just painful.

Jennifer said...

Be Nice Fella's lol...

Remember some just come to talk jibberish, and leave....

I laugh at the Smitty comment and just in case I might give away to an ANON my pro peppers status, I will refrain to comment on his leaving or staying...

Anonymous said...

I think Richardson is behind the Jake thing and Fox has to cover it up. No, I do not have proof of it but it is just a hunch.

Richardson a hypocrite??? Surely, you jest.=0) Really, what other coaches out there are better than Fox that are available? With the exception of Gruden, I don't see one. Who do you want....chinny? I think not, his time is over and just because he lives in raleigh, that doesn't mean he is right for us and what's he going to do that Fox cannot?

Fox had a lot to endure this year like other years with starters going down in preseason. he managed to get through the season average even though the talent on this team is really second to none. Think about the players we have, they are really remarkable. Double trouble, Peppers, Smitty, Beason, Davis, Harris, damn we have an awesome group don't you think?

I agree with the WR situation, we need Jarrett to step up and he did in the last game. Now we need to get him going.

As a good coach, we have to get our best players in there. If DJ only knows a couple of plays then put him in there and run those plays till he masters some more. Work with the guy...sheesh!

Matt said...

Scott - maybe I have missed it in one of your columns (or one of the other sportswriters), it would be interesting to hear your opinion about how the possibility of an uncapped 2010 season - and a potential lockout revolving around the CBA for 2011 - is affecting the Panthers' front-office strategy, and Jerry Richardson's in particular, as it relates to the team and John Fox's situation. I don't believe for a second the Panthers are blindly ignoring any of this stuff when trying to decide what their offseason moves are going to be.

Gary said...

What will happen in an uncapped year… in terms everyday Panthers fans will understand…

1. The “Final Eight” plan:

This plan you may have heard about will cause the final 8 playoff teams (the 1 and 2 seeds from each conference, and the winners of the 3-6, 4-5 seed games in each conference) to not be able to enter a normal free agency period in 2010.

The final four teams in the playoffs (the participants of the conference championship games) will not be allowed to sign any unrestricted free agents in 2010, except:

a. Those who became Unrestricted by being waived from another team.
b. Their own Unrestricted free agents from this past season
c. One Unrestricted free agent per Unrestricted free agent from their team this past season signed by another team. This stipulation also specifies that the “New Player’s” first year salary cannot be higher than the salary of the lost free agent’s first year salary.

The remaining four playoff teams (those who lost in the round before the conference championships) are also restricted to a, b, and c above, but have the opportunity to sign any Unrestricted free agent as follows:

d. (1) One player that will have a first year salary of $4,925,000 or more, and
(2) Any number of players who’s contract cannot have more than $3,275,000 in the first year and who’s additional years have no more than 30% of that first year’s salary. In addition, these contracts cannot be later renegotiated to increase the salaries of later years until one year after the signing date.

This plan is to prevent any of the elite teams (through advancement into the second round of the playoffs) from going on a spending spree and buying up all the upper tier free agents to add to their already strong rosters.

Also, it is important to note, any of the Final Eight teams cannot trade for any player that it wouldn’t be allowed to sign under the provisions above.

2. 4th and 5th year players will no longer be eligible for unrestricted free agency. That number moves to 6th year, and 4th and 5th year players will now become restricted free agents.

This gives the team the ability to tender potential unrestricted free agents, exercise the right of first refusal on those players, and receive compensation should they sign elsewhere.

Potentially, without a cap on expenses, teams could overspend and tender all of their restricted free agents (including those 4th and 5th year players who would have become unrestricted in a normal offseason) with the high tender, and dare a team to try and sign one (thus giving up 1st and 3rd round picks in the process).

3. An extra Transition tag…

Teams will not only have the use of a Franchise or Transition tag like in normal operating years, but they can use both the Franchise and Transition tags, as well as an extra Transition tag. This means a team can basically protect three of its unrestricted free agents.

In normal operating years, you can choose to use one or the other. In an uncapped year, you can use both plus another.

4. How low can you go?

The existence of a salary cap also comes with a salary floor. This is a minimum amount of money a team must spend.

Without a salary cap, there is no salary floor. As such, teams that would like to trim their spending way down can do so without consequence

. Chances are, that won’t happen and we’ll retain him as a starter, but it will be interesting to see if we try and let that situation play out…

Number 4, at this point, doesn’t seem like it will be an issue with the Panthers. We’ll spend what we need to spend to stay competitive, and what the ownership/staff feel will put us over the edge as far as being a contender. If anything, it will probably help us if teams like Tampa choose to spend way less than most other teams, as an uncapped season will likely mean the 24 teams not falling under the “Final Eight” plan will be getting what they pay for…

Gary said...

How will all this impact the Panthers?

Obviously, we won’t be subjected to the rules of the “Final Eight” plan, which could prove to be a good thing. We can enter free agency as normal, but will have the added bonus of at least 4 less competitors, and in most cases 8, should there be anyone on the market whom we desire the talents of.

However, no cap means that those players who do enter Unrestricted Free Agency will likely command more money than previous years, even though most will be second or third tier talent.

Now then, as far as numbers 2 and 3 above…

Should the CBA not be agreed upon before the offseason begins, the following Panthers will be Unrestricted Free Agents:

Tyler Brayton, DE
A.J. Feeley, QB
Josh McCown, QB
Muhsin Muhammad, WR
Julius Peppers, DE
Hollis Thomas, DT
Keydrick Vincent, OG
Dante Wesley, CB

…and the following Panthers would fall under the exception of being 4th and 5th year players scheduled to become Unrestricted, but instead becoming Restricted Free Agents:

James Anderson, LB
Thomas Davis, LB
Jeff King, TE
Richard Marshall, CB

The following Panthers will become Restricted Free Agents, having only been in the league 3 years:

Louis Leonard, DT
Rhys Lloyd, PK
Matt Moore, QB
Quinton Teal, S
Tank Tyler, DT
C.J. Wilson, CB

We should be able to tag Peppers without any real consequence (as we can pay him as much as it costs for the uncapped year), other than if he chose to sit out of football (which I think he has shown he is not willing to do). In all actuality, an uncapped year benefits us on the Peppers front tremendously. Even if he were to simply be allowed to hit free agency, he won’t be able to sign with a playoff team from this year unless they bend over backwards and make the proper accommodations… We hold the majority of the cards yet again, and his only options will be to extend long term, sit out a year, or play for around $20 M next season, which is a bargain for us in an uncapped year with a player of his caliber (regardless of what many of you haters think!)…

Brayton, Muhammad, Thomas, Vincent, and Wesley could all likely be resigned relatively cheap if we want to have them back… I doubt Feeley or McCown come back, although it is entirely possible…

Anderson, Davis, King, and Marshall could all be tendered, and two of them could be Transition tagged if we wanted them bad enough… I could see Davis and Marshall both getting a tag, however, I fully expect that Davis will be resigned long-term before we would even need to consider tagging him… Worst case scenario is that we tender all of them and get some draft picks out of it if we lose them…

With us giving up future draft picks for Leonard and Tyler, you can rest assured that both will be tendered and likely back in the fold as Panthers in 2010… Lloyd is a luxury that we will probably want to bring back, and Teal and Wilson have shown a little potential and add decent depth…

Matt Moore… Well then… It appears we have either found our starter at QB for 2010… or a player we can at least give a high tender that will allow us 1st and 3rd round picks as compensation should another team make a play for him

Anonymous said...

At the risk of splitting hairs, here goes...a makey-breaky year suggests

1) JR is willing to throw out Fox's 10 year history and evaluate his employee on one year - Not Happening

2) JR has been displeased w/ the direction of the team and wants to see a turn around - After a 12-4 season and rewarding Jake w/ a new contract, the timeframe for JR to be displeased is an 8-8 season w/ Jake, who JR has confidence in, having a bad year

I believe its due primarily to the Collective Bargaining and not Fox's record but I guess CB is a less juicy read.

Curtis said...

Damn Gary...good post man! After months and months of reading through 75% thoughtless drivel (ahem, anon @ 2:49), that has to be one of the most informational posts I've read this year.

I wasn't aware of the 'Final Eight' clause...knowing that completely changes the perspective in which I view this uncapped year. As you alluded to, suddenly the losing season we had this year has a positive spin.

Anonymous said...

Nothing against Moore but all the games he QBed at the end were giveaways by the opposing teams who already made the 'offs.

Moore makes a great backup but in the end the 15 yrs of experience trials and tribulations by a seasoned vet named JD overshadows the younger guys.

Its funny how they begged Fox at the end but he will have the last word and tell the whiners who tried to kizz his azz at the end to stay, to stick it ... and take JD out the door with him ...

Fox (and JD) is a goner ...

Jennifer said...

Nothing against Moore but all the games he QBed at the end were giveaways by the opposing teams who already made the 'offs.

SORRY but I TOTALLY disagree with that comments...

If you think FARVE got put on his a@@ all game, McKinnie got pulled and embarrassed...

As did the Gaints closing out their home stadium wasnt something to play for then you didnt watch the games I watched...

Moore got comfortable and so did his teammates and had QB ratings of over 100 in probably all the games he played....I understand all players have haters, but give credit, when credit is due...geez...quit making excuses, sounds like Coach Fox...

I second Curtis....One he!! of a post Gary...thank you!!

Curtis said...

And to build on Jenn's comment...

The Vikings were playing for higher playoff seeding...at that time they could have still made the #1 and home field advantage throughout. That's not a throw away.

The Giants were playing for an actual playoff spot. They were still alive when they came in to play us.

Saints...I'll give you that one. But, don't forget...it wasn't only the Saints that had a bunch of back ups in. So did we. Or have we forgotten about not having players like Dwill, Smitty, Otah, Gross, Davis - just to name a few.

Haven't we already dispelled this myth? You must be the same anon posting this nonsense...I can tell by the way you spell (or really, don't know how to spell).

And, who begged Fox and when? That's news I haven't heard.

Kenneth said...

Curtis & Jennifer,

Both of you have cracked me up all season as well. I have enjoyed coming home from work to see what you guys and a few other posters have typed. Most of the time we agreed on things, but some of the time we didn't. But one thing is for sure you are Panthers fans that are just as devoted as I am.

Jennifer said...

Ah thanks Kenneth back @ ya!!

And how boring would this world be if we all agreed on the same things...

Some of the discussions have been pretty passionate to say the least, but its been fun sharing the blog with the difference of opinions..

And a big thank you for those that let me be one of the guys, get out of the kitchen and post about football.. (pun intended)

Looking forward to training camp already....

Curtis said...

Yeah Kenneth...it's been fun. Hopefully next season we'll be posting about winning games and going to the playoffs!

Jenn...was that a pun, or was it sarcasm? Or irony? ;)

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

It was.... "sarcasticpunirony"

Hows that Sir Curtis lol...

Made me smile, thank you!!!

Curtis said...

Sarcasticpunirony...I like it!

Sir Curtis...I like that better, lol ;) Don't suppose I could keep that nickname?