Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers has opted to settle for a one-year, $16.7 million guaranteed salary. Wow! Sucks to be him.
“Over the past few months we have had regular communication with Carl Carey, Julius’ representative, and all indications were that Julius would be signed to report to training camp,” General Manager Marty Hurney said. “Julius obviously is a very valuable member of our team and we look forward to the 2009 season.”
Peppers originally tried to pout his way out of Carolina, but was as successful as Chad Ochostinko. Well, maybe a little more successful considering Pep will be making ridiculous money this year with his franchise tag. If the Panthers were to use the tag on Peppers again in 2010, the team would be required to offer him a one-year salary of $20.04 million. That's way more than I make.
After listening to Charlotte sports station (WFNZ), and reading various Panthers' message boards, I can tell that many fans are not happy with this signing. They are kind of adopting the Broncos/Boston College mentality of, "if you have any thoughts about not wanting to be here, then we don't want you." I say that is stupid.
This is a business. The Panthers need Peppers on the d-line, and he needs to play (well) this year if he EVER hopes to get a Haynesworth type contract. Since nobody showed much interest in forking over enough to trade for Peppers, he really had no choice but to re-sign with Carolina. I guess he could have sat out, but that would have just hurt his own chances of getting what he wants next year. He needs to show that he isn't a big baby, and that he is worth what he wants to get paid.
I look for Julius to have a solid season, as he did in 2009. Maybe he will work well with Ron Meeks, and even decide that he wants to finish his career as a Panther.
Either way, this is a good thing for Carolina fans. So get off your high-horse, and be glad about this.