I was just going to comment on Jaxon's post, but this just has me so pissed that I had to post on the front page.
The Charlotte Observer blog is reporting that Julius Peppers will only consider 4 teams in a trade if the Panthers use this franchise tag on him.
Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers will agree to be traded to only four teams, three of them in the NFC, a source said.
Two are teams the Panthers will not want to trade him to, the source said.
This implies that the two teams are in the NFC South, the division in which the Panthers play.
Every time I hear more about the situation the more ticked off I become. I know his contract is up, but saying he would only be traded to 4 teams is ridiculous. A player of his abilities has to realize his current team is not going to just let him walk if there is any way not to let it happen, aka the Franchise tag. Second, you also have to realize the current team is not going to want to play against him on a consistent basis.
If as suggested by the Observer that two of the teams are in the NFC South, which two teams would it be. Unless I'm missing something doesn't the whole NFC South play a 4-3? In addition, what major changes would there be that would "improve" his game that much and let him "open up" even more on the field. Would he not have the same opportunities with the Panthers as he would else where in the NFC South?
If this is truly the case, then I hope we do franchise his sorry ass. If he is set on playing in the NFC South then I say let him sit the season out. If he doesn't sign the franchise contract we don't have to pay him. Granted there would be no compensation to the Panthers but at least he's not playing against us. Then we can use the tag on him every year until he decides to accept reasonable trade.
Okay, since that won't happen, it appears this is heading down the road Brett Farve paved last off season. Wanting his cake, eating it, and not allowing anybody else to have some.
Boy, I'm sure glad he doesn't want to "cripple" the Panthers.
Pat Yasinskas from ESPN.com provides additional thoughts about the NFC South options:
Tampa Bay is an obvious suspect in this because the Bucs are flush with cap room and the fact Florida doesn't have a state income tax makes it a popular destination for free agents.
I'm guessing Atlanta might be the other spot Peppers wants to end up. But that might be wishful thinking on his part.
Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith have a plan and I don't think that plan includes giving up a huge salary and a bunch of draft picks for a guy who hasn't always been consistent. And I'm not so sure owner Arthur Blank, after what he's been through, is going to lay out huge money to a guy who is forcing his way out of one town and produced a whopping 2.5 sacks while moping through a 2007 season -- something the Falcons' organization is well aware of.
Could the Saints be a factor? I doubt it. They just don't have the cap room or the draft picks to make a play for Peppers.