Now, officially, Marty Hurney says that there have been no talks between the Panthers and Patriots.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney issued a statement through team spokesman Charlie Dayton tonight denying an NFL.com report that the team was working on a trade to send franchise free agent Julius Peppers to the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick.
“By the rules of the CBA, we cannot and have not had any conversations with other teams about Julius,” said Hurney. “Under the non-exclusive franchise tag, Julius and his agent, Carl Carey, are within their rights to talk to other teams about a potential contract. However, at this point, we are not aware of any such conversations.”
Carey could not be reached for comment.
Okay, so the teams can’t talk but that doesn’t mean that Carl Carey hasn’t talked to New England, right? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Marty has to say there is no deal being negotiated. That’s his job.
Don’t be surprised if this story today wasn’t just a plant to create some buzz and a little more interest in Peppers.