Julius Peppers No Longer Wants a Long-Term Deal from Panthers


Could this be the end of the eight-year business relationship between the Carolina Panthers and Julius Peppers?

I ask the question because even though this is the latest news on the topic, as reported by the NFL’s website, there is really nothing more to contribute than the words as quoted by Peppers himself.

"“The (Panthers’) silence says a lot without saying anything. That is kind of a turnoff.” -Panthers Defensive End, Julius Peppers"

Peppers is irritated by the team’s lack of…rather, cold-shouldering him from every angle. At this time–and for sake of not soiling the integrity of the man’s words, at anytime–he does not want to stay in Carolina any longer.

In the (recent) past I have defamed Peppers’ character. But the longer this draws out, the more I am able to see it from his perspective.

How would I feel if I had given as much time to the company I work for, only to have them cold-shoulder my request at even wondering what their future intentions with me were?

As always, I try to find logic in everything. So at this point, while I sympathize with Peppers in that he is getting what some might term the shit-end of the stick, I also attempt to put myself in the organization’s shoes.

With the uncertainty of the CBA’s future at this point, it is understandable why the team is reserved in making a decision on Pep’s future, even a decision to franchise him.

There is not much time for a new CBA to be agreed upon, and it’s with almost certainty that the 2010 season will be an uncapped season. However, in the unlikely event of a new CBA being agreed upon before the March deadline, the Panthers have to consider the ramifications involved with franchising Peppers.

In the likely scenario that there is no CBA, then it would cost Carolina roughly $20 million to franchise Peppers for a season. Beyond that, they would only be restricted by how much they can afford to spend on free agents, new contracts, etc.

But then the problem lies in that, (Hopefully) when a new CBA is agreed upon somewhere between 2011 and 2012, there will be a salary cap reinstated, and some major cuts will have to be made, to get under the cap limit.

So in that scenario, I can understand where the Panthers are coming from, although it still does not excuse them from giving the silent treatment to one of the best players in the history of the franchise (nor any player for that matter).

On the flip-side, if a new CBA were to be agreed upon before the fast-approaching deadline, then I can see why the Panthers would be reserved in franchising Peppers, as it would once again eat up valuable salary cap space that could have been used for re-signing players to new contracts, free agents, and rookie contracts.

What it boils down to is money. And lots of it. I’m not asking if Peppers is worth the big payday that he is requesting. Nor am I making a statement as to whether I think he’s worth it or not. But I too am bothered by the gag order the Panthers front office has placed on itself.

They’re doing a disservice to the media, fans, but most importantly to the players who bring the revenue in, because everyone of them have fans. Their fans might not all be able to attend a game on Sundays, but every t-shirt, hat, sweatshirt, and bumper sticker that is sold is revenue brought in thanks to players’ fans.

It’s a big circle, really. The fans contribute revenue via ticket sales and purchasing merchandise (I couldn’t tell you all the Panthers items I have, it’s insane). The players are a part of why the fans want to make these purchases; sometimes very expensive ones, too.

All we ask for is a little clarification.

Is Julius Peppers’ “silent treatment” statement something we can all take seriously? At this point, the Panthers’ front office leaves me no ground but to say there must be truth to it.

What is the Panthers front office’s stance on the future of Julius Peppers? Why the silent treatment to Pep and the fans?