|01-13-2009, 03:15 PM||#11|
Join Date: Feb 2001
Casino cash: $17353
I would like to have Peppers. But not at that ridiculous price.
You can't buy happiness. But you can buy beer. And that's pretty much the same thing.
|01-13-2009, 03:16 PM||#14|
Hugo Hussein Castro Obama.
Join Date: Jun 2001
Casino cash: $5565
Julius Peppers’ future with Panthers undetermined
Pro Bowler becomes unrestricted free agent and Falcons need defensive help
By CHARLES CHANDLER
The Charlotte Observer
Monday, January 12, 2009
Charlotte, N.C. — Julius Peppers drove away into the offseason Sunday with his future with the Carolina Panthers a mystery.
For the second day in a row, Peppers declined to say whether he’d like to remain with the team, and coach John Fox wouldn’t say what preferences Peppers had communicated in their private conversations.
Peppers’ contract is due to expire Feb. 26, making him eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. If the Panthers are unable to sign him to a long-term contract extension before then, they could place their franchise tag on him.
If Peppers is franchised, Carolina could have him play under a one-year tender offer in 2009, as offensive tackle Jordan Gross did this season, or trade him to another team.
Unlike Gross, who made it clear he’d like to remain with the Panthers long-term, Peppers has been careful to avoid making his desires known publicly.
“Ideally, I want to be in the best possible situation for myself and for this organization,” said Peppers. “I’m thankful for everything they’ve done for me.
“I don’t want to leave them crippled or in a bad situation and I don’t want to do that to myself either. Whatever works out best for both sides is what I’m comfortable with.”
The Panthers’ season ended abruptly Saturday night with a 33-13 home playoff loss to Arizona.
Peppers had a career high 14.5 sacks during the regular season and was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl. He came within one vote of being a first-team Associated Press all-pro.
Fox praised Peppers for not letting the contract situation become a distraction this season and didn’t express concern that Peppers was being publicly noncommittal about his future with the team..
“Julius, who I’ve got the utmost respect for, is a private person,” said Fox. “He’s a different person than other people. It’s a process. He’s fairly private with the process. I’ll live with that. I’ve got no complaints with Julius. I’ve got no questions with his commitment. This is the business part of it.”
Asked whether he knows whether Peppers wants to stay or go, Fox said: “I think those things are between me and Julius. … Hopefully, it works out.”
Fox said it’s important for the Panthers to keep Peppers, Gross and all their core players.
Peppers, who turns 29 next Sunday, said money isn’t a key factor in determining where he’ll play in future seasons.
“Of course, I want to win,” he said. “I want to win a Super Bowl. That’s the ultimate goal in this game. That’s why we play. I want to be on a great team. I want to be around great guys and I want to be with a great organization.
“It’s not about money. It’s not about any of that kind of stuff. It’s just about being happy.”
However, because of Peppers’ lofty market value, he’s expected to become the highest paid defensive player in league history with a multi-year deal averaging at least $13 million per season.
Franchising Peppers without a new contract would require the Panthers to pay him around $17 million for the 2009 season.
Peppers grew up in Bailey, North Carolina, east of Raleigh, played college football at North Carolina and has spent his seven-year NFL career with the Panthers. But he dismissed the notion that he’s ready to move away from home.
“I go other places. I travel,” he said. “I work here and I live here, but I’m not always here, so that’s not really an issue as much as people might make it out to be.”
Peppers acknowledged that, regardless of his wishes, the Panthers control the situation because of their ability to franchise him.
“The team has the authority to do that,” he said. “We know that. I know that. That’s the rules. It’s not really (anything) I can do about it, not saying that it’s a bad thing either. It’s just how it is.”
Asked whether he would play for Carolina with a franchise tag, Peppers said, “I don’t think I would have an option.”
One option could be a holdout to protest being franchised, or to try to force a trade.
“I don’t think that’s how you do business,” said Peppers. “But I guess we’ll see if it happens.”