Shortly before Panthers GM Marty Hurney's press conference in which he announced the team will not apply the franchise tag to DE Julius Peppers his agent sent this statement to several Panther beat writers:
"We have felt for some time that Julius would have the opportunity to test the free agent market in 2010. He has had a very accomplished career thus far; but he is convinced that with this move he will thrive and develop fully into the player he was destined to become. He is excited about his future and looking forward to the process of selecting his next destination."
That has to be the most pompous exit statement I've ever heard. Accuse me of having ‘jilted lover's syndrome' I don't care but I can't but help notice the obvious messages in this statement that any future buyer might want to ponder. Let's start with this part:
"he is convinced that with this move he will thrive and develop fully into the player he was destined to become"
So the message to the future buyer here is that if he doesn't thrive and fully develop it won't be his fault, it will be the buyer's fault. You see the only reason Peppers hasn't fully achieved his potential and become the most dominant DE in the history of mankind is because the Panthers and their 4-3 system have held him back. How is that you might ask? You'll have to ask Peppers or Carey for that answer.
What's with this "destined to be"' to be crap? Is this football or the Matrix we are talking? It's always been my impression he would have preferred to play basketball but couldn't shoot 40% from the free throw line to save his momma's life. Football simply became a better way to make a buck (or a few million). In my view this explains his well known propensity for taking entire games off while lamenting his inability to drive the lane without looking like a complete oaf.
There's more message for the owner wanting to toss $40M guaranteed at this guy. Notice he is selecting his "next destination", not his final destination. So again, whatever team gets him better know it's only temporary as he has no plans to lay down roots or anything. You will simply be his next stop and there will certainly be another one after he cashes in your $40M.
Let's also consider what is not in the statement. Did he thank the fans wearing all those #90 jersey's? The kids that adore him or his teammates that fought along with him in the trenches? Did he thank the Panthers team or management for the what $50M+ dollars they have paid him? I'm guessing at the amount but I'm sure you get the point. So that's it?
No, you see all that is irrelevant as Peppers is the chosen one simply following his destiny as the greatest athlete in modern history. We are all simply collateral, small stepping stones who should be grateful we got to witness such sheer talent in our lifetime. We will all tell our grand kids, yes I saw Julius Peppers play in person and I can now die in peace because of it.
Thanks for the lifetime of memories Julius...I hope you reach your destiny wherever the hell that ends up being.
Update: I missed Peppers personal statement and thought I was going to have to retract the last part of my rant above. See for yourself:
"Last night, I learned that the Carolina Panthers would not restrict my availability during the upcoming free agency period. I feel good about having the opportunity to visit with other teams. My goal will be to find the right match for my skill set. I am thankful for the eight seasons I have spent in the National Football League thus far; and am looking forward to beginning this new phase of my career.
Thankful to the NFL but the rest of us can go pound sand! Wow...just wow.