Julius Peppers – Former Carolina Panthers DE
Strangely enough, this has already happened.
DaQuan Jones wore No. 90 during the 2021 season, which was donned by the dominant Julius Peppers, a player that is idolized in the Carolinas after a sensational college and pro career.
This didn’t sit well with many. Jones did play well more often than not, but he took his chances elsewhere in free agency when the Buffalo Bills came calling after just one season with the organization.
Peppers was a highly-touted defensive end out of North Carolina that went No. 2 overall to the Carolina Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft. He immediately began wreaking havoc on opposing offensive linemen across the league and even though he did depart for stints with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, the veteran was able to return for two seasons before calling it a day.
During his two spells with the Panthers, Peppers racked up 97 sacks, 441 tackles, 107 tackles for loss, 50 passes defended, and 34 forced fumbles. Giving Jones his number last season would indicate it’s now up for grabs, and it’s also worth remembering that Carolina gave up Greg Olsen’s jersey to Terrace Marshall Jr. much sooner than anticipated.
Carolina hasn’t had many truly elite players throughout history. Peppers is undoubtedly one of them and should be treated as such.