Julius Peppers contemplating his football future

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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.

21 responses to “Julius Peppers contemplating his football future

  1. While he has played less this season, I believe he is the ONLY player from that draft class that is still active, and if he isn’t he is one of the very few, with many of the others drafted in the first round retired for several years all ready.

  2. I am a Packer fan who has watched almost every snap this year and I really like the guy but he has been kind of invisible all year long.

  3. He probably won’t be back with Green Bay unless it’s for cheap. They have a lot of good OLB depth.

  4. I respected this guy when he joined the Bears but was dancing in the streets by the time he left. It’s rare you see a guy actively undermine a coach as blatantly as he did to Lovie Smith’s replacement. It cost the team games and set a terrible example for young players who looked to him as a leader. He may be HOF to some but he’s a POS to me.

  5. He won’t be back. The Packers will thank him, wish him the best of luck, and move on.

  6. Kind of reminds me of Jared Allen — he remains productive as long as he’s used right, yet the competitive nature of the player fights the limited playing time.

  7. Give it up. You played three years beyond usefulness. To come in sporaticlay and act the he man aint working any more. The team needs real every down pass rushers.

  8. stellarperformance says:
    Dec 6, 2016 10:57 AM
    He won’t be back. The Packers will thank him, wish him the best of luck, and move on.
    ——
    And the Packer fans will forever hold a grudge if he goes to play somewhere else.

  9. cheeseisfattening says:
    Dec 6, 2016 3:27 PM
    And the Packer fans will forever hold a grudge if he goes to play somewhere else
    ///////////////////////////////////

    Can you name some? The only player I can think of that fits your Packer-hating description is Favre, and he deserved the wrath. And let’s be clear…..it had nothing to do with the Vikings. Favre orchestrated himself out of Green Bay because he identified a team, not his own, as his last best chance to win a SuperBowl, without giving a second thought to his own teammates. That’s why he pretended to retire so often…hoping to gain an unconditional release. It could’ve been any team, but it happened to be the Vikings.

    The way it came to an end for him in Minnesota was dramatic Shakespearean payback at it’s finest, wouldn’t you agree?

  10. shaggytoodle says:
    Dec 6, 2016 8:59 AM
    While he has played less this season, I believe he is the ONLY player from that draft class that is still active, and if he isn’t he is one of the very few, with many of the others drafted in the first round retired for several years all ready.

    Josh McCown QB

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