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.