I can't fathom where some of the writers over at the Bleacher Report get the premise for their posts. Eric Quackenbush for reasons unknown and unfounded thinks that Julius Peppers will sit out the 2009 season if he doesn't get traded. Not only that, but he thinks the Panthers are convinced of the same as well:
I might as well get this out in the open, as everyone needs to at least get used to the idea that Julius Peppers may not be a suit up for the Carolina Panthers this season, nor will he be on a different team, perhaps until next season.
The Panthers have done a great job this offseason of masking the fact and the idea that Peppers will sit out the 2009 season, all because he hasn't been traded to a team of his choosing.
For anyone who can't read the blatantly obvious writing on the wall, the Panthers have mentally moved on, casting Peppers into football's version of limbo.
I'm not sure what wall Quackenbush is reading but where is Terrell Owens publicist when you need her? I'll give you $16M reasons why Julius Peppers will play in 2009. Sure the Panthers are conducting practices and making plans without Peppers since he is obviously not there, but make no mistake the Panther brass fully expects Peppers to sign that tender if not before TC then during.
How else would you expect them to act? Should John Fox grovel to the media every week "Oh Julius please come back. We'll let you play whatever postion you want." Pu-leeeze! If they were mentally prepared to play without him as suggested then they would not have franchsied him to begin with. They would at least have made more of an attempt to trade him before the draft. In reality the Panthers have made it quite clear they plan on Julius being in a Panther uniform and are prepared to pay him the highest one-year salary for a defender in history. What in the world makes anyone think he would walk away from that?
I have to take issue with one more statement in this piece that made me cuss for about 30 straight freakin seconds:
At this point everything becomes cloudy, and that is due to the expert deception the Panthers are giving the media and fans, making Patriots-like statements that Peppers will be ready to play come the start of regular season. Meanwhile everyone in the front office who needs to know, is uncertain of the return of Peppers.
Expert deception? Patriots-like statements? Oh my God if one more person references the Patriots like they are the NFL Gods I AM REALLY GOING TO PUKE! They didn't even make the playoffs last season!!!!!!!! They got caught cheating!!!!!!! I'm still pissed off every time I think of it. Screw the freakin Patriots!!
If anything the Panthers have been very "Panther-like" in their handling of Peppers. I bet John Fox doesn't give a rats ass what the Patriots are doing and sure doesn't bow to the Belichick groveling.
Short of some desperate team over-paying the Panthers, Julius Peppers will be in a Panthers uniform in 2009 I have no doubt.