Peppers' lack of passion makes him a risky bet

J. Peppers2.jpgWe’ve heard Julius Peppers called the biggest impact unrestricted free agent since Reggie White, but Reggie White never had people questioning his effort.

Peppers’ up-and-down career, marked by periods of brilliance and games where he disappeared, makes him a hard player to evaluate on the open market.

I wouldn’t touch him, for that money and what he gives you,” an
ex-Panthers personnel man told the Boston Globe

“He could end up costing some personnel guy his job,” an AFC scout
said. “I’m terrified of him. In
my heart of hearts, I believe that if you pay this guy, I don’t think
you’ll see a double-digit sack [season] again the rest of his career.”

SI’s Ross Tucker, who played against Peppers, also wrote a column this week questioning Peppers’ work ethic.  Even ex-teammates like Brentson Buckner are quoted by the Globe’s Albert Breer marveling at his skill, but wondering about his love for football.

Peppers’ superhuman talent and strong finish to the season will make him a very rich man.  He absolutely destroyed the Vikings and the Giants in Panthers victories. 

But Julius Peppers is not Reggie White and the league knows it. We’ll see if anyone — like Dan Snyder — pays Peppers like a transformational player anyway.

27 responses to “Peppers' lack of passion makes him a risky bet

  1. Reggie White was maybe the best of all time. To even mentioned in the same breath is proof enough of his value. The 18 mil his employer payed him last year is also a tell of his talent and production, because as you know, they did not have to do it and plenty of other teams were willing to take his lack of passion, 10 sacks and 4 or 5 forced fumbles.
    I think the best fit for him would be the Ravens. Ray Lewis will handle the talking and the passion, Peppers just needs to provide the pass rush. Sizzle on the other side and Nagta in the middle should give him the best D line talent around him since back when Jenkins and Rucker were probowlers and the Panthers were SB contenders. The Ravens are pretty close, still dominant on D and improving a lot on O, but the pass rush has fallen off since Thomas and Scott left, Pryce aged and Suggs and JJ have been hurt.

  2. Kearse, when he came to the Eagles gave nothing. Paydays bring out the worst in some guys. Others, like Runyan, thrive It is always a crapshoot

  3. I’m sure he gets burned out being the only force on that side of the ball. Carolina’s DEF doesn’t really boast that many playmakers aside from Peppers so most blocking assignments are designed to take him out of the equation.
    If Peppers went to Washington, with all of their defensive talent…it’d be pretty difficult to stop Haynesworth, Orakpo, Fletcher, etc. Peppers would have a field day.

  4. He’s fool’s gold. The song of the sirens. He will beat up defenseless teams to pad stats, and show up during contract years or during meaningless games. Stats aren’t everything. His sense of logic is skewed, making him unpredictable and dangerously stupid.
    He turned down a contract that would have made him the richest defender in football history after posting 2.5 sacks. Turned it down!!
    He wanted to shift to a 3-4 to play OLB, a position that pays less than a DE in a 4-3. Stupid.
    He wanted a trade, announced he had a list of 4 teams he is willing to play for, and then didn’t sign his tender. Stupid.
    His agent is the person who tutored him in college. Stupid.
    He will walk out of this with a contract must less substantial than the one he was offered in 2007. Stupid.
    His is the ring in “Lord of the Rings.” He will ruin you. YOUR Precious, not Carolina’s anymore.

  5. julianne pfeffers rarely shows up unless playing a bad team like the lions or bucs.
    caveat emptor, for sure. put all kinds of clauses in that contract.

  6. He was handled easily by NE’s 2nd string O-line in the SB. Giants proved 4 years later that if you have the horses up front you could beat the Pats. Peppers was a no show. He’s a sunshine superman – dominated at the end of this season when it didn’t matter – for $18 mil. Do not pay the man!

  7. Harm City Homer, Peppers would fit poorly in Baltimore. They already have their rush LB with Suggs. Putting Peppers on the other side would force him to play more coverage, which he is capable of doing, but not as often as he would be in their scheme. And he doesn’t have the body type to play 3-4 end. I would say he’s either going to the Patriots, Eagles, Giants, or Redskins, who have the money and the need.
    On another note, this article basically states the obvious. This has been Peppers’ drawback for a while. He’s lazy, and the one thing coaches want is consistency. If you’re paying a 30 year old guy $15 mil plus, and he’s going to take plays off, no thanks. It smells like Jevon Kearse all over again. Teams better off drafing someone.

  8. Boston Globe huh? Could this be Coach Cheater trying to scare other teams away from a guy he wants to sign? Nah, he wouldn’t play dirty would he?

  9. A supremely talented, but overrated player who lacks passion, is on the downside of his career and will command way too much money? You’re right, Rosenthal. It has “Dan Snyder signing” written all over it.

  10. Rex Ryan was much more 3-4 than Mattison is, and in nickle and dime looks you use a 4 man front no matter what your base D is.
    Suggs needs a stud on the other side. Harrison and Woodley, Freeney and Mathis. To dominate, you need 2 pass rushers like on O, you need your #2 WR to be able to take some of the coverage away from the #1, and a TE and a running game if you want to be more than just pretty good.
    The Ravens pretty much have all the players they need up front in complimentary roles, and do not need Peppers, but like Trevor Pryce or Mike McCrarry, they can bring in older productive DEs and allow them to play thier best football. The Ravens D has been great for the entire decade, but the front 4 has never been as good as they were in 2000. Peppers, Suggs, Gregg and Nagta could be an even better front 4 than the 2000 D, and would allow the coverage and blitzers to confuse and shut down even the top Qbs that have knocked us out of the postseason.
    I do not know what the price would be, but to me it is more about finding the best fit and getting the ring or rings, working on the HOF ballot. Peppers has money. He was the #2 pick and never has been under paid. He also was on the record saying that he no longer wanted to be a Panther and did all he could do to get out of town without actually holding out.
    Whatever. I think his problems are worth trying to solve, and he would cause a lot more problems for the opposing OC than he will for the team he plays for.

  11. With the rumors out of the Carolina’ that he takes plays and games off, the media has been killin him.. he could live with it in charlotte, but I have a feeling he is going to show, whereever it may be, that he is the freaskiest athelete to ever play in the nfl… Look at the games this season when he had that fire in his eye: arizona, scared the living shit out them… MInnesota- scared chilly into benching farve.. Im tellin yall, if the game isnt nationally televised or its against a bad opponent, he wont show up.

  12. @Harm City Homer
    Sure you need 2 great pass rushers, but in the 3-4 they need to be able to play solid coverage on a consistent basis. If he was the Rush OLB, which is what Suggs plays, he would be productive because he would get a running start at the O-Lineman and it would be easier for him to play the run. Defenses usually don’t blitz both outside linebackers at the same time, and Peppers cannot cover guys consistently, which would be a big problem for the Ravens. With the Steelers, both Harrison and Woodley can cover and rush, so opposing teams don’t know what to expect. But with Suggs and Peppers, they’ll be blitzing more often then not, which could force them to give up some big plays to tight ends or wide receivers crossing the middle of the field

  13. # jsdarkman says: February 21, 2010 12:50 PM
    He was handled easily by NE’s 2nd string O-line in the SB. Giants proved 4 years later that if you have the horses up front you could beat the Pats. Peppers was a no show. He’s a sunshine superman – dominated at the end of this season when it didn’t matter – for $18 mil. Do not pay the man!
    That’s a god damn good point.

  14. everyone questioning his desire is going to help him and any team that signs him.
    Yes he did have a very strong finish to the year but dont forget when that started. Everyone was saying he wasnt trying hard enough or that he lost a step. Right afterwards it seemed like a switch flipped in Peppers head because he dominated out there.
    I think for the most part he has went hard all the time, but it seemed like the terrible start to the season and him not wanting to be franchised by the Panthers got under his skin.
    I guess it is a little scary for a team to sign him but I think they are just caught up in the hype. Front offices seem to want to find any excuse not to take a risk or spend money.
    Peppers will be fine. He just needs to get on the right team.

  15. If my team, The Saints, signed Peppers, I would puke. Great player with a part-time motor = mediocre in my book.

  16. People tend to forgive u can do big contracts with assumptions. As a performance contract… make him work for it. Don’t just guarantee millions for a big if….but if u put ul get this if u do this. Somewhat like reggie bush’s current contract

  17. jsdarkman says:
    February 21, 2010 12:50 PM
    He was handled easily by NE’s 2nd string O-line in the SB. Giants proved 4 years later that if you have the horses up front you could beat the Pats. Peppers was a no show. He’s a sunshine superman – dominated at the end of this season when it didn’t matter – for $18 mil. Do not pay the man!
    ____________________________________
    Agreed. He’s never done ish in any other playoff game either really.

  18. pep is better than kearse and whoever gets him has instant pass rush you can say that for like ten def players in the league when your that good people talk bout how good you really are build teams off guys like him

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