This time last season Panthers DE Julius Peppers had a pretty good idea of where he wanted to play. He went so far as to issue a four team list of the only places he would sign. Though the four teams were never officially identified it was rumored to be Dallas, Philly, New England and Miami. When nothing happened he refused to sign is franchise tender until right before training camp. I don't think I need to remind you how that all turned out.
So do we have a new list this year? Nope, Peppers seems to be a little more flexible this year.
"Anywhere is a potential landing spot," he said after the final NFC practice yesterday for tonight's Pro Bowl. "I'm not going to say I want to play for any team or I prefer to play anywhere, because I really haven't thought about it.
"I haven't thought about playing for x, y or z."
So is there a lesson learned from last season at play here? Or is this Peppers way of saying "I hope the Panthers pay me so I don't have to think about it".I hope its the latter but I'm not hopeful in that regard.
more thoughts after the jump...
I think if the price is right Peppers would sign with the Panthers. What ever his issue was last season seems to have dissipated with the 2009 season. Whether that was the influence of DC Ron Meeks or DL coach Brian Baker I imagine we can only speculate. I do find it hard to believe Peppers would go anywhere. He wants to win and isn't about to go to a rebuilding team like Cleveland or St. Louis.
I personally have a hard time thinking the Big Cat will pay the large price its going to take to retain Peppers so I've resigned myself to his leaving. I just hope we get something in return other that just a compensation pick in next year's draft. I also hope we goes to the AFC with a 3-4 scheme we can see once for all if he is a 'freak' or just a greatly gifted athlete!
I don't think Peppers wants another franchise tag this year in spite of the huge sum it would generate. I imagine he is ready to know where he is going to be the next 5 seasons and most likely completion of career. Being in limbo for a season weighs on you so if you have a choice to get stability the tendency is to do just that.
I would like for Peppers to stay in electric blue but I'm hopefully. Where he ends up it appears all anyone can do is guess, even Peppers.