Packers pass-rusher Julius Peppers moved into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time sack list Sunday, and he’s trying to decide if he wants to come back and take a shot at moving up a spot on the list.
The soon-to-be 37-year-old Peppers is heading into the final month of his contract with the Packers, and admitted he’s been giving thought to playing again next year.
“I’m not saying that I don’t want to play next year,” Peppers said, via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I’m not saying that I do. I’m just saying that right now, I don’t know. And I’ll figure it out at some point.
“There’s a lot of things that can happen between now and February.”
Finishing up his 15th NFL season, Peppers just passed Michael Strahan on the all-time sack list, and has 142.5. Next up is Chris Doleman at 150.5, and nothing Peppers has shown this season suggests reaching that level’s inconceivable.
Peppers admitted he “reflected a little bit on it,” after Sunday’s win over the Texans, realizing his place in football history. For a guy who was just hoping to get to 100 sacks when he was drafted second overall by the Panthers in 2002, he has surpassed every expectation. Now, he’s looking for meaning.
“It’s all about how I feel,” he said. “How one feels, and having a purpose to do it. Obviously, you know what the purpose is — the Super Bowl and all that stuff — but even without that. What’s the purpose? If the season ends, I don’t have a contract obviously, and if nobody calls and nobody says anything — which I don’t think will be the case — but I’ve got to sit back and figure out if I really want to play and if I do, why? And I don’t know. I don’t know.
“I feel like if I wanted to play, that I could. Yeah, I could, for sure.”
He’s had a sack in each of his last three games, and considering the market for guys who can do that, he should find offers. It’s just a matter of where, and for how long.