Julius Peppers couldn’t be more clear. He wants out. Fine.
Today is the beginning of the end, officially. Between now and February 19th, the Carolina Panthers must make a decision on the man who is a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.
What do we really know about this guy, anyway? Very little.
When he talked to the media he showed little interest in being there. His words never sounded like those of a professional athlete. He always seemed to squirm around, anxious for it to be over. And when he was talking he wasn’t saying much.
Going back to the ’08 offseason, we can all remember how Pepp was spotted in Arizona working out and how he was spotted at a Denver Nuggets home game. The rumors started and persisted.
Fast forward more than half a year later and he says he wants out. He wants to play in a 3-4 defense. His agent, Carl Carey, released a statement to the media for his client. Again, Peppers was nowhere to be found in all of this. He didn’t pull a T.O. and have his agent making one of those assinine “next question” statements to a group of reporters while he lifted weight in his driveway.
Something about the guy just makes you feel like he’s distracted as if he wants to be somewhere else. It was easy to get the same feeling when he was at Chapel Hill.
But despite his lack of personal presence, he was still capable of taking over a game whether it was on the football field or on the basketball court.
That’s the inigma – a commanding physical presence and a shy, introverted and pensive personality – the opposite of what you expect from a world-class athlete.
The question will be answered soon. What will the team do? It’s easy to guess since we all know the Panthers won’t allow JPepp to leave without getting something in return.
The questions that won’t be answered anytime soon regard Peppers himself. Is he really looking for a challenge? Does he truly feel he can succeed in a 3-4 defense? And is this all happening because of the reasons he mentions or is it because he’s so socially backward that he doesn’t know any other way to break away from his home state?
We may never know. He is after all a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.