I'm not sure they were even talking today but in the end no deal was reached between the Panthers and franchised DE Julius Peppers.
Today’s non-move also sets the stage for repeating this scenario next offseason. They will have a window after the 2009 regular season until the start of free agency to work on a long-term deal again, but if one isn’t reached, he’d be an unrestricted free agent again. If the Panthers choose to tag him a second time (and every indication is that they would), he’d cost them at least $20 million next year. There are no provisions in the contract he signed prohibiting them from tagging him again.
If there’s not a new collective bargaining agreement signed with the players union before then, next season will be played without a salary cap.
Maybe that is the entire end game with this, the fact there is no cap next season. Maybe Peppers and his agent are gambling on a huge uptick in salaries after the 2009 season. This strategy is not without its risk. Though Peppers has remained pretty much injury free most of his career there is that chance (I'm not going to say it). Part of me wants him to roll craps on this gamble but it would just hurt the team so I can't go there. Maybe at least we can be done with this whole discussion until 2010, right?