Peppers will not re-sign with Panthers - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker)—Julius Peppers does not want to continue his career with the Carolina Panthers.
Peppers, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end and pending free agent, has informed the Panthers that he does not plan to sign a long-term contract extension this offseason.
Peppers’ agent, Carl Carey, told PA SportsTicker that his client “wants to reach his full potential” with another team. The two-time All-Pro requested his release from the Panthers on Friday night.
“The front office has been informed of my desire to explore opportunities with other NFL teams following the expiration of my contract next month,” Peppers said in a statement released by Carey. “At this point in my NFL career, I am seeking new challenges that will allow me to grow, develop and reach my personal potential on the football field.
“I strongly feel that making a move at this time is in my best interest. I appreciate the entire Panthers organization and am thankful for the seven seasons I’ve spent with the team.”
The Panthers could potentially place their franchise tag on the 28-year-old Peppers for the 2009 season. But that would cost the team approximately $16.7 million over one season.
The 6-7 Peppers had 51 tackles and a career-high 14 1/2 sacks this past season for the Panthers, who won the NFC South Division but were upset, 33-13, by the Arizona Cardinals in last Saturday’s divisional round playoff game.
Selected second overall in the 2002 draft, Peppers has spent his entire seven-year career with the Panthers, recording 70 1/2 sacks.