In a Thursday interview with WEEI radio in Boston, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said that talks have not occurred with the Panthers regarding defensive end Julius Peppers, Carolina’s franchise player.
There’s no trade talks going on with Carolina,” Belichick said, as transcribed by Gregg Rosenthal of  “They don’t have a signed contract.  They can’t talk about trading a player that isn’t signed.”
But there’s no rule directly prohibiting trade talks.  The prohibition comes in a roundabout way via Article XIV of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Specifically, Article XIV, Section 8(b) states that “[a] Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.”
In other words, a team can’t apply the franchise tender to a player solely as a vehicle for trading the player.  Thus, evidence that the team is trying to trade the player could provide the foundation for an argument that the team doesn’t have a good-faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender.
Once the tender is signed (and thus no longer “extended”), the “good faith intention” requirement evaporates, and the player can be traded.
The irony here is that plenty of teams have engaged in trade talks regarding franchise players before the franchise players signed their tenders, working out the terms of the transaction with the new team while the new team works out a new contract with the franchise player.  Then, once the two agreements are reached, the franchise player signs the tender, signs a new deal, and promptly is traded.
Indeed, the Pats traded safety Tebucky Jones to the Saints nearly six years ago, striking the deal before Jones had signed the franchise tender.
The difference now, as we hear it, is that the teams fear a challenge from the NFLPA, if trade talks occur before the franchise tender is signed.
But is it a realistic concern?  The player bearing the franchise tag benefits from trade talks that occur before the tender is signed, since the end result will include a new contract for the franchise player.
In this case, the franchise player wants a new contract and a new team.  So, in our view, the union shouldn’t care.
As a result, we’re not sure why the Patriots and/or the Panthers care.


  1. Seems to me that the league is being very deliberate about not trying to give the union anything that they can gripe about and get a victory to give them something to rally around and test their muscles a bit.

  2. “The irony here is that plenty of teams have engaged in trade talks regarding franchise players before the franchise players signed their tenders”
    That is no no way ironic. That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.
    \love the site

  3. I certainly don’t care. I’m kind of intrigued to see Beeeel Beeeeelicheck work his magic once again. Here’s hoping for a Cardinals vs Patriots Super Bowl.

  4. Pats should not pursue Peppers anyway…they’ll sign Jason Taylor @ 5 mil per and resign Wilfork.

  5. It’s entirely possible that New England has no interest in paying for and paying to sign Peppers. It’s not like Adam Schefter is never right.

  6. I’m a Panthers fan. Patriots are going after Peppers. I grew up a Dolphins fan. Patriots are going after Taylor. Patriots have Wilfork. Wilfork went to my high school. What’s the significance? I DON’T KNOW!
    Exhibit Q: A scale model of the entire mall!

  7. You guys are reading what he said wrong. He said they are not talking to Carolina… he didn’t say they are not talking to peppers.
    He also said he PERSONALLY wouldn’t do it, but there are 3 acting personnel managers (or similar titles) at NE right now.
    Honestly, I’d rather Peppers remain in Carolina and Taylor go to hollywood. I’d rather have Roosevelt Colvin.

  8. Florio, you don’t understand why Belichick follows the rules?? Maybe, it’s so that people like YOU won’t complain about it.. For if he did what you’d like him to do, then he wouldn’t be following the rules and then you could complain about it on the site… Amazing how you work…

  9. Perhaps the reason that it’s being leaked that the Panthers are interested in talking to the Patriots is for another reason much more underhanded than the idea of simply trading Peppers before he’s signed.
    Maybe the whole purpose is to trick Peppers into signing his Franchise tender and forcing him to agree to the Panthers’ terms. If he likes a team like the Patriots and wants to get traded to them, the Panthers could be leaking this story in hopes of convincing Peppers that the only way to get the deal done is if he signs his Franchise Tender. Once he signs, the discussion of trade talks could be ended, and Peppers goes on being a Carolina Panther again. Peppers gets pissed, but Panthers get their way.
    Just an idea.

  10. I’d be shocked if Peppers goes to the Pats. But you never know with Belichick.
    I will say this though. The Peppers situation is playing out almost diametrically opposite to the Cutler situation, and yet these guys are in essentially the same spot. Which one of these guys is going to be better off when all the dust settles?

  11. By the letter of the law they can’t talk to Carolina about trading for Peppers. What they can do is talk to Peppers’ agent about what kind of contract it would take to get him in a Pat’s uniform. Once the Pats and Peppers agree to a contract extension, Peppers signs s contract with Carolina at the exact terms the Pats want, then the Pats send Carolina a second round pick for Peppers. Belichick wants him badly. He has called him the Randy Moss of NFL defenses and has compared him to Lawrence Taylor in the past. He’s also said he could play seven different positions on an NFL team, from outside linebacker to offensive tackle. In today’s interview he said Peppers is young and in his prime and would be a huge asset to any defense no matter what system they use. The only thing keeping the Pat’s from getting Peppers is his contract demands. If he wants a Haynesworth deal forget about it. If he wants to be paid well and win a Superbowl he plays for the Patriots next season. It’s a pretty black and white scenerio if you ask me.

  12. Von Santaclaus is right.
    The situation is almost the same.
    The problem is, Cutler and Pus Book compared the guy to Brady and Manning. The problem is, he demanded a trade, and now is playing the victim. The problem is he thinks he gets to pick the next coach.
    And, as a bonus for you commies posing as capitalists, don’t forget that he has made $20 million so far, so he must be bad.
    He is going to be/is a very good football player. But he is arrogant. He needs these next three years in Detroit to learn some humility.
    Peppers just has an agent that understands not to make his client not look like an ass clown. At least Peppers’ bitching follows NFL protocol. He’s not doing anything right. Cutler and Pus Book are just doing it all wrong.
    That, my fellow Americans, is why Julius Peppers is getting more slack than Cutler.
    (do any of you realize all my nonsense is typed on IPhone and do you appreciate how hard it is to do when you write the book size comments I type? I should have a special PFT endurance award named after me.)

  13. Wouldn’t a “good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season” be established as soon as the team created the cap room to carry the franchise salary? Just asking but it would seem so.

  14. As a fan of the Patriots I hope the Peppers thing goes away. Too much money for the guy. 16 mil for a D-Lineman (Peppers) !
    Albert Hayneworth’s contract…. Dan Snyder is a fool. These contracts have reached a point of complete insanity. I hope after this Players’ contract expires the rookie scale goes into effect. That will help the overall pay structure. I am already paying too much for tickets, parking etc. It has to stop. Love the game. I am loyal to my team, but it is crazy, man.

  15. this is why bellicheck is far and away the best coach in football,on and off the bill is just dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s and taking care not to put his foot in the bucket,like the new moron in town in denver,how stupid is he?
    mr. bill is not going to get caught up in some dumb imbroglio that will follow him into the pre season,he’s a peace and quiet kind of guy.

  16. Bill Belicheat is the best coach in football? What a retarded statement. Even with his cheating ways, his team hasn’t won a superbowl since… when? Furthermore, I wouldn’t believe a word that comes out of that weasel sack-boy’s lying pie hole.

  17. @ olcap
    I am a Dolphins fan and HATE the pats… But still, that may have been one of the most ignorant posts I have ever read on this site

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