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Panthers tried to lure Peppers home before Packers offer

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During last night’s Seahawks-Packers broadcast on NBC, Cris Collinsworth was discussing Green Bay’s acquisition of Julius Peppers and his conversion to outside linebacker in a 3-4.

And as almost an aside, he dropped what would have been huge news in Peppers’ first NFL home.

He was getting ready to go to Carolina, thinking he’d just go home and finish his career there,” Collinsworth said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “Then the Green Bay Packers called and said, ‘How’d you like to be a stand-up, 3-4 outside linebacker?’ And he said, ‘I’ve been waiting my whole life to do that.’”

Voth reports there were some preliminary talks between the team and the native-son defensive end, who came with the second pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and helped a team to two NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl, but left unceremoniously for Chicago after spending a year under a franchise tag he tried to fight.

The link with home is reasonable, since enough time has passed. Peppers also has a close relationship with defensive line coach Eric Washington, who he worked with in Chicago.

The Panthers apparently talked with Peppers’ camp about a return, and thought there was a chance to bring him back, even after using the franchise tag on Greg Hardy. But when the Packers offered a three-year, $26 million contract, he quickly became a luxury the Panthers couldn’t afford.

It’s fascinating to think about as it pertains to 2015 as well. The Panthers have committed 21 percent of this year’s salary cap to defensive ends Charles Johnson and Hardy. After this season, Hardy’s expected to leave, and Johnson may be asked to take a pay cut.

At that point, having Peppers would have been a nice fall-back option — at least it was before the Packers offered him more money and a chance to do something new.

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19 Responses to “Panthers tried to lure Peppers home before Packers offer”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Sep 5, 2014 9:08 AM

    Panthers tried to pick a pack of Peppers.

  2. crapsandviche says: Sep 5, 2014 9:25 AM

    Wait Julius Peppers plays for the Packers? Weird, is he playing special teams or something, cause I didn’t see him at all last night.

  3. Doctor G says: Sep 5, 2014 9:33 AM

    Collinsworth needs to retire!

  4. junkmtb says: Sep 5, 2014 9:36 AM

    I saw him on the field last night, pretty uneventful to say the least!

  5. pantherfan40 says: Sep 5, 2014 9:38 AM

    panther fans dont want him back , greg and charles are way better . why should we bring back peppers when he screwed us when our team sucked

  6. bassplucker says: Sep 5, 2014 9:58 AM

    He was invisible last night. In other words, he played just like he played for the Bears last year.

  7. lks311 says: Sep 5, 2014 10:09 AM

    Something tells me he’s still going to get a chance to finish his career in Carolina.

  8. packerenglishmajor says: Sep 5, 2014 10:10 AM

    The Pack wouldn’t have been as dominant last night without Peppers . . . he played, right?

  9. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 5, 2014 10:15 AM

    So that was “the savior of the defense,” eh? Kind of looked like an over-the-hill has-been playing out of position to me.

  10. ariani1985 says: Sep 5, 2014 10:34 AM

    Wow, can’t believe that the Packers gave him 40 million up front!

  11. pshark5 says: Sep 5, 2014 10:45 AM

    Sadly, Peppers is probably still the second best player on the Packers defense.

  12. rexranius says: Sep 5, 2014 11:02 AM

    I love Peppers and Allen, but the biggest rivals in the NFC North overpaid for guys on the downside of their career. The Bears probably got the best deal of the two, but they both screwed themselves. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lions or Vikes take over the division for the next few years as the Pack tries to patchwork their past teams and the Bears continue to break what was already broken.

  13. youplayinfoosball says: Sep 5, 2014 11:45 AM


  14. canadapackers says: Sep 5, 2014 12:15 PM

    I sure think that I am getting bored with Chris Collingsworthless and his inane comments. He is almost as bad as Joe Theismann got before he got the boot. It is about time to get a new voice up in the booth even if it is just to have a different voice. I am not a panic packer fan. We suffered the same problem that probably cost us victory against San Fran the last playoff game – dropped interceptions. As far as tackling is concerned – that is a concern but dont forget a few other teams havent tackled Lynch well. I am more piszzed off about the 2 stupid holding penalties that Jones took – last year it was Williams doing it, the year before it was Woodson. What the heck is the point in grabbing a guy when he goes by you – You KNOW it is going to draw a flag. That was 2 stops including a big sack that were denied because of a stupid play. Guys have been cut for making stupid plays like that.

  15. canadapackers says: Sep 5, 2014 12:17 PM

    PS – Peppers played well – we need to fix the interior part of the line – and that is a tough team with Lynch and Harvin – didnt they eat up Denvers D last year?

  16. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 5, 2014 12:28 PM

    He probably should have gone there instead. His hand belongs on the ground.

  17. goodguyattorney says: Sep 5, 2014 12:31 PM

    For about a third of his career Peppers has been one of the best DEs to ever play. And by a third of his career, I mean about every third play.

  18. 2difshoe says: Sep 5, 2014 12:42 PM

    Peppers is done…I saw him make a lame attempt to swipe at the ball last night, kind of a pathetic effort for a guy who’s making 8.75 mil a year. Is this not TACKLE football?

  19. pkaiser59 says: Sep 5, 2014 4:57 PM

    Peppers will wind up retiring as a Panther. They’ll sign him to a one-day contract and he’ll ride off into the sunset……eventually!

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