During a Sunday Night Football broadcast early last month, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth stated that Julius Peppers had been set to reunite with the Panthers over the offseason after being released by the Bears. While Carolina head coach Ron Rivera did acknowledge that his team was interested in signing the the 34-year-old, Peppers himself doesn’t seem to have viewed the Panthers as a serious suitor. “I was never over there for a visit,” Peppers said, according to David Newton of ESPN.com. “I never talked to any of the coaches. It didn’t get very far for me personally.” Of course, the North Carolina alum ended up inking a three-year deal with the Packers, and is playing quite well, grading out as the 10th-best 3-4 OLB among 46 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Here’s more from the NFC:
- We learned yesterday that rugby star Jarryd Hayne is attempting to make the jump to the NFL, and the Seahawks are one possible landing spot for the 26-year-old. Hayne took a visit with the team in September, and while head coach Pete Carroll was “coy” when asked about Hayne, it appears that the club does have some interest in signing him, according to Terry Blount of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
- Packers fourth-year cornerback Davon House will be an unrestricted free agent come March of 2015, and he’s set himself up to earn a significant amount of money on his second contract, writes Rob Reishcel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. As Reischel notes, fellow corner Tramon Williams will also be a free agent after the season, and given that Green Bay already signed Sam Shields to a gaudy extension, the club might have to choose only one of House or Williams.
- The Vikings probably won’t make a deal before the October 28 trade deadline, writes Bo Mitchell of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, but the two most likeliest candidates to be sent out are probably Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson. Ponder could appeal to teams in desperate need of a quarterback, and while Peterson probably won’t offer any value in 2014, he could be of interest to a club who hopes the star running back returns to the field in 2015.