Tuesday, February 2, 2010

NFL Rumor: Julius Peppers to The Green Bay Packers?

(photo courtesy of NBCSports.com)

With free agency fast approaching, it's an endless list of prospective destinations for defensive star, Julius Peppers.

Peppers made it clear during last year's offseason that he has no interest in finishing his career in a 4-3 defense. A worthy request for a sack machine, as the sack leaders in the last ten years have been primarily based out of a 3-4 system.

At 6'7", 283 pounds, though, Peppers' potential as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense would be exotic, to say the least. The Carolina veteran is undoubtedly a sack-master, finishing second only to Indianapolis' Dwight Freeney in sacks per year (10.1).

The question, rather, is whether or not he can be effective as a coverage man in open field. There are no qualms about his speed or athleticism, but at such a heavy stature, there is a concern that he won't be able to keep up with speedy tight ends or maintain a large area of space in zone coverage.

Rather, my guess is Peppers will find his way to an already successful team that uses a 3-4, a team like the Green Bay Packers or the New England Patriots.

I have my money on the Packers, despite the odds that are stacked against them. General Manager Ted Thompson, nicknamed "tight-wad Ted" has never been the type to shell out loads of money for any one player, something Peppers will most certainly demand as a free agent.

Peppers is, after all, thirty years old and he isn't getting any younger.

(story courtesy of BleacherReport.com)

My Take

Julius Peppers to Green Bay will be almost as unlikely as Brett Favre returning to the Packers under the Ted Thompson regime in the coming years.

I remember hearing these rumors last offseason, but even with the emergence of the Packers defense, which finished as the NFL’s 2nd best this year, no way do I see Ted Thompson bringing in Julius Peppers. Peppers is 30 years old and we all know Thompson loves to build youth from the draft.

Julius Peppers is the equivalent of Aaron Kampman. Kampman could not adjust to the 3-4 defense this past year as a linebacker and was lost for the season due to injury. I do not foresee the Packers organization resigning him or taking a risk on Julius Peppers, considering the type of money he will bargain for. Peppers, like Kampman should be playing as a defensive end regarding the type of scheme due to their production as sack leaders atop the NFL.

The Packers defensive end list currently consist of Johnny Jolly, Cullen Jenkins, Justin Harrell, Jarius Wynn, and Mike Montgomery.

The ONLY way I see Peppers strapping on the green and gold is if Johnny Jolly ends up in serious trouble with his codeine charges or if Justin Harrell is finally released after failing to stay healthy for yet another season.

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