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Panthers Quick to Tag Peppers

Feb 19, 2009 – 1:51 PM
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Will Brinson

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The Carolina Panthers have, according to many "league sources," as well as Peppers' agent Carl Carey, officially designated Julius Peppers with the team's franchise tag.

This, of course, is against Peppers' preference (he's not the only one who hates the franchise tag) and comes as a result of the Panthers inking LT Jordan Gross to a six-year deal. The tagging of Peppers is no surprise whatsoever -- it was well known that the team, regardless of whether he wants to play there or not, intended to get something back if the lifelong Panther actually ended up leaving.

Peppers has stated that he is only interested in four teams, one of which is the Cowboys and only one of which is in the AFC (the rumor train is pointing towards the Texans at the moment).

There should be some pretty quick information coming from both the team and Carey about possible trade suitors, especially considering Peppers' willingness to shrink the list of teams that he would play for (read: there would seem to be some interest already present on those teams' parts.)

Peppers will make $16.683 million next year as a Panther, but it's also nearly understood at this point that if/when traded, he wants a Jared Allen-like extension.

Small update: Carey comments on the tag, stating that, "Julius was expecting the franchise tag and we will continue to seek a resolution that is in line with his professional goals." Seems odd that they're suddenly willing to play ball in a "professional" manner, but it's really about the only thing that Carey or Peppers can say in this situation.

Filed under: Sports