The sentiment that defensive end Julius Peppers will be paid more like Dwight Freeney, Jared Allen, and DeMarcus Ware and less like Albert Haynesworth omits the possibility that the same team that gave Haynesworth $40 million guaranteed might decide to take full advantage of the rules of the uncapped year by chasing Peppers, too.
Jason Reid of the Washington Post reports that the Redskins “are expected to pursue” Peppers, which means that he’ll likely be signed by daybreak on Friday.
Similar rumors — though much more rampant — emerged last year regarding Haynesworth and the Redskins. At one point, our pal Lance Zierlein of KGOW in Houston reported that it would definitely occur. And occur it did; a $100 million deal was negotiated between midnight and 5:30 a.m. on the first morning of free agency.
If/when the Redskins land Peppers and switch to a 3-4 defense, the eight-year veteran would move to outside linebacker for the first time in his career. As Reid points out, the key player in all of this will be the aforementioned Haynesworth, who might be expected to man the line-clogging nose tackle position — and thus yield the glory to Peppers.
So on the ten-year anniversary of the greatest collection of highly-paid individual players who couldn’t function as a team, it’s fitting that the man who wrote the checks for the 2000 Redskins could be getting ready to do it all over again.