Monday, February 1, 2010

Posturing, Panthers and Peppers

It wouldn't be February around here without our annual Julius Peppers watch now, would it?

As reported in today's Charlotte Observer, Peppers' agent Carl Carey says (hopefully?) that he believes the Panthers have "moved on" from Peppers. And that they are giving Peppers the "silent treatment." And that Carey called the Panthers to initiate discussion and that they -- horrors! -- have yet to call him back.

Now what does this tell us besides the fact that the Panthers may have a bad case of telephone etiquette, assuming you believe Carey's side of things on this?

The Panthers claim nothing at all. General manager Marty Hurney released a statement Sunday night saying nothing had been finalized in terms of the Peppers decision (the team would have to put a "franchise tag" on him, if it wanted to do that, in the window from Feb.11-25).

Where does the truth lie on this one?? I would guess that, as usual in these posturing/negotiating sessons, somewhere in the middle. To say that the Panthers are totally uninterested in Peppers -- who was again their best defensive lineman in 2009 and just made the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000s -- is naive. Obviously, they would want to sign him if they thought they could get him for a reasonable price.

But to say that the Panthers are salivating over themselves with the idea of signing Peppers is also incorrect. They certainly aren't going to make him the NFL's highest-paid defensive player anymore, as they were once prepared to do.

My guess here is they are playing a bit of hardball -- making Carey and Peppers wait, making them anxious and then -- boom -- one last offer and/or discussion at some point in February and then it's take it or leave it.

Will they franchise tag Peppers again, at a cost of more than $20 million for 2010?

I don't think so, even in what is likely to be an "uncapped" year. Even though Peppers played well for 2009, it didn't work out for Carolina as a whole, as the team finished 8-8, so I think Carolina won't rent him again for such a high price.

But the beauty of this whole thing is that I could be wrong, you could be wrong, Carey could be wrong, Hurney could be wrong -- you never know when it's February, and the name "Julius Peppers" is on the calendar.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let the prima-donna go. If he were the missing part of the puzzle and you had the money, sign him up. At 8-8, we have much more pressing needs.

By the way, why are we promoting a speacial teams asst coach that just assisted our speacial teams to becoming one of the worst in the NFL??

Dump Peppers and Fox!

Anonymous said...

Peppers a prima-donna? Are you smoking crack? The guy is a hermit!

Anonymous said...

The front office has always seemed to work in an open and upfront manner when wanting to sign/re-sign talent. I dont see this being a tactic to soften up Peppers. It indicates to me they are ready to move on w/o him.

Anonymous said...

Peppers was a beast this year. Maybe if the front office didn't throw away so much money to the worst starting quarterback in the league, they could do something here. But no, we'll pay Jake and let Pep walk. At least we won't have to worry about expectations next year.

Anonymous said...

Carey is once again being played for the fool that he is. He couldn't secure a long term contract for Peppers last year and he might not do it this year either.

If Peppers had chosen a real agent rather than going with his "academic advisor" from UNC he might be locked into a lucrative long term contract by now.

Anonymous said...

I agree the Panthers are planning to move on without Peppers, but I don't believe they will let him go for absolutely NOTHING in return. Therefore, because this is an uncapped year in the NFL, I think the Panthers will make one last offer (accept or go) and if he doesn't, franchise him one more year and shop him around (even for a 2nd rounder). It's better to get someone in return than just let him walk for absolutely nothing! That just doesn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

I dont see them franchising him. Why commit to $20M in hopes of gaining a second round pick?

zach said...

part of trading a franchised pick is that you get a 1st rounder in return

Anonymous said...

The Atlanta paper says Peppers will join the Falcons, uh-oh.

Anonymous said...

I've been saying this for a long time, the panthers really can not make the right decision here. If they franchise him and try to trade him, not only do they make peppers angry (we all know how he plays or how he doesn't play when he is mad) but risk 20 million on potentially nothing. If they do sign him to a long-term deal he will most certainly play as apathetically as ever. If they let him go for nothing, they motivate him to have an awesome year somewhere else. We are screwed

Anonymous said...

Real question. How much of this might be because of the uncertainty of how this off season is going to go? It is not a given that this will DEFINITELY be an uncapped year. It is LIKELY, but the owners and players union have until March to come to an agreement. If we signed Peppers to a huge deal right now figuring there's not a cap anyway so it can't hurt our ability to sign other free agents, and then all of a sudden a deal gets done and there will be a cap, we've screwed ourselves. It doesn't seem fair for Pep or his agent to expect us to make him a huge offer until we are sure that there either will or will not be a salary cap. Not to mention, correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't heard any other teams re-signing players yet. It's early in the offseason, two team's seasons aren't even done yet!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't blame Peppers for leaving at all. He has been a great player, most of the time, for the Panthers, but maybe it's time to move on. He seems to want to play in a 3-4 scheme and he isn't going to get that here. Go make some money elsewhere and in all likely hood, unless he goes to St Louis or Detroit or a place similar, he will be more likely to win a super bowl. Because the way the Panthers are going it's going to be sometime.

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

You guys can hate on Pep all you want, but fact is, he's the best defensive end we have on this team. Bar none. No one is even close. If you think it would be easy to replace his level of talent (even if you think it only shows up sometimes)...well, it wouldn't.

That being said, I don't see the Panthers just "ignoring" the situation to indicate they aren't interested. Seems too unprofessional to me. They have a plan. They just haven't told Julius and his agent yet.

Big stakes = playing cards close.

Anonymous said...

he'll be playing for atlanta... we all know the owner has money, and is willing to bring in talent to develop the team... they could use a 5-time pro bowl defensive end... http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2010/01/31/julius-peppers-could-be-answer-to-falcons-problems/

Anonymous said...

SIGN TEBOW! Do it Hurney/Fox... bring in Tim Tebow he will save us!

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Peppers married a daughter of the richardsons their would be no talk of moving alone without him. Wow, who took responsibility for stinking up the team. Was it the quarterback that couldn't get it going and the coach that alllowed said quarterback to keep starting,and the team continued to lose. Who will the blame fallo on after peppers is gone.Fox made a bad decision for continuing to start jake over matt. So he injured his finger, wow what an excuse to sit him on the bench. Peppers never threw interceptions, as a matter of fact before the defense could take off their helments and get a rest they had to go right back on to the field.

Anonymous said...

my guess is that the Panthers are shopping him to see what he would get. If he won't come at a reasonable price I say they trade him to the highest bidder. Heck, a second round pick is better than letting the dude walk scott free.

Anonymous said...

But to trade him or get compensation, they would have to tag him again, no?