January 17, 2009

Julius Peppers In DC? Don't Count On It.

Julius Peppers just announced he wanted out of Carolina so that he could reach his full potential by playing in a 3-4 scheme.

"I am seeking new challenges that will allow me to grow, develop and reach my personal potential on the football field," Peppers said. "I strongly feel that making a move at this time is in my best interest. I appreciate the entire Panthers organization and am thankful for the seven seasons I've spent with the team."

Translation: "I don't want to play for this underachieving bunch of losers anymore. I want to win and play in a bigger market."

Carolina has been the chic Super Bowl pick in several recent seasons, but they have often failed to reach the play-offs largely due to injuries and poor QB play. This year, they looked like they had broken through with the emergence of Jon Beason and a terrific 1-2 punch at running back in Deangelo Williams and Johnathan Stewart. But Jake Delhomme scuttled their chances with a horrific night against the Cardinals last week.

I would say Peppers wants a big payday from a team with a legit signalcaller. He's a superstar caliber player who would probably get a lot more recognition if he played in a bigger market. He's a tremendous athlete who would be a great fit in a 3-4 defense.

My only question about him is the dismal 2.5 sack season in 2007. Will he have another season like that? If so, I don't know if he's worth the trouble. It might take time for him to adjust to a 3-4 defense.

Perhaps his whole desire to play in a 3-4 is just a ploy to sneak his way out of Carolina, and Peppers will end up with the highest bidder. Regardless, Peppers will be a top free agent should the Panthers let him walk without putting a franchise tag on him.

If he wants to play in a 3-4, Peppers could very well land in Baltimore where the Ravens might lose Terrell Suggs to free agency. The Cowboys might be cap-strapped, but they love to go after those big names so they could try to squeeze Peppers onboard. However, they seem to want to sign Demarcus Ware to a big contract so that leaves a Peppers signing unlikely.

Many Skins fans have expressed a desire to see Peppers in DC, but with our cap woes and poor decisions in free agency, I would be skeptical towards bringing Peppers in. Jason Taylor was a complete bust in his first year, but I think he might be able to have a bigger impact this year, if he can stay healthy.

I don't expect much from the Skins this year, so I really want to see them try and build a team instead of slapping together a bunch of new acquisitions only to see them go 8-8. There are cheaper free agents out there and other needs that can be filled with all the money it would take to bring in Peppers.

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