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Schefter: Gross close to long-term deal + Peppers to get tag

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Nothing new on the Gross front (so far) but here is an article on Peppers. I didn't realize how much just these two players would count against the cap if this were to go down like this and they could not trade Peppers.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/panthers/story/546705.html

Peppers gives Panthers few options

By Tom Sorensen

tsorensen@charlotteobserver.com

Posted: Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

I can't see Julius Peppers wearing a star on his jersey and playing for the same Dallas defense that features 2008 NFL sack leader DeMarcus Ware.

A source says, however, that there are only four teams to which Peppers is willing to be traded. Three are in the NFC. One is the Cowboys.

The Panthers have until 4 p.m. today to apply the franchise tag to Peppers. If they do, they'll retain him for one season at a cost of almost $17 million. The only reason to retain Peppers at that price is to trade him. This becomes difficult when he excludes 27 teams.

The trade partner has to satisfy Peppers and the Panthers.

Carolina covets draft choices, one of which almost certainly has to be in the first round.

Peppers covets an opportunity to play his best football and win and make lots of money. But this isn't solely about money. Last summer the Panthers offered to make him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, and he ignored them. And he was coming off his worst season.

Two teams have two first-round picks in the 2009 draft – Detroit and Philadelphia. Two teams have no first-round picks – Carolina and Dallas. The Cowboys traded theirs to Detroit for receiver Roy Williams. The Panthers dealt theirs to Philly so they could draft Jeff Otah last year.

The source says that, under these circumstances, a trade is unlikely. He says Peppers will agree to a trade only if the situation is "perfect.” He also says that two of the teams that interest Peppers are teams the Panthers are unlikely to trade him to. He would not say whether the teams play in the NFC South.

Lastly, the source says that if the Panthers don't trade Peppers, he does not know how Peppers will respond.

In other words, when the rest of the team reports to Spartanburg for training camp on an afternoon so humid that even a mannequin sweats, Peppers might not join them. How will that play with teammates, none of whom makes close to $17 million?

When there is a holdout, players almost always side with players; their contracts tend to expire, too. Just a guess, but fans might not be so sympathetic.

If the Panthers don't apply the franchise tag to Peppers, he walks. This would free them to tag Jordan Gross, who is in the same situation as Peppers. And if the Panthers sign Gross to, say, a one-year, $9 million contract, and tag Peppers, that's a $26 million salary cap hit.

There aren't many football players who given the choice between (A) working half a year for $17 million and (B) holding out, would choose (B).

But Peppers is not like other players. He is not like any athlete I have met. Some of us talk about how we follow our own road, and the more we say it, the less true it is.

Peppers doesn't talk about it. He just goes.

I don't know where the road will take him. It could even take him to Dallas, I guess.

I know only that the road won't be smooth. And that Peppers desperately hopes it leads straight out of town.

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I agree with the author. It is unlikely that Peppers is traded to the Cowboys.

Carolina will not accept anything less than at least one first rounder.

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I agree with the author. It is unlikely that Peppers is traded to the Cowboys.

Carolina will not accept anything less than at least one first rounder.

I've heard rumors that besides the Cowboys (which has no shot of happening), Peppers has the other 2 teams in the NFC as teams in the NFC South....yeah that's not happening...hello AFC.....

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I've heard rumors that besides the Cowboys (which has no shot of happening), Peppers has the other 2 teams in the NFC as teams in the NFC South....yeah that's not happening...hello AFC.....

According to the article, there are four teams on the list of teams Peppers is willing to be traded to.

Three in the NFC and one in the AFC.

I doubt he is traded at all if he is tagged unless he will OK trades to a greater number of teams.

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Who cares? If Peppers gets tagged the Eagles aren't getting him. The Panthers will ask for a first rounder at least. The Eagles won't give up a first for a 29 year old DE and that wants a huge contract. If Peppers hits the market, I could see the Eagles going after him because basically it would cost them no picks. If he is tagged Peppers won't and shouldn't be an Eagle.

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Who cares? If Peppers gets tagged the Eagles aren't getting him. The Panthers will ask for a first rounder at least. The Eagles won't give up a first for a 29 year old DE and that wants a huge contract. If Peppers hits the market, I could see the Eagles going after him because basically it would cost them no picks. If he is tagged Peppers won't and shouldn't be an Eagle.

Eagle fans only care as it pertains to Gross.

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Eagle fans only care as it pertains to Gross.

Gross will be either tagged or resigned. He has no and had no chance of coming here. The Panthers weren't about to let him leave!

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Gross will be either tagged or resigned. He has no and had no chance of coming here. The Panthers weren't about to let him leave!

Probably. That doesn't mean the interest does not exist.

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