The Panthers are bringing back Julius Peppers back home, agent Carl Carey tweets. The discussions between the two sides were first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
Peppers, 37, spent the first eight years of his career with the Panthers. In Carolina, he earned five Pro Bowl selections and three First-Team All-Pro nods. He is one of the greatest players in franchise history and he’ll now get to finish his career where it all started.
Of course, a Peppers return is more than just a feel good story. Even at this stage of his career, Peppers is still a very effective player. Last year, he appeared in all 16 regular season games (11 starts) for the Packers and recorded 7.5 sacks. He also started in all three of Green Bay’s playoff games.
All in all, he was on the field for 715 snaps in the regular season and he appears to be as durable as ever. Peppers has only missed two games in his career due to injury (sprained MCL, 2007). He was out of action for four games in his rookie season, but that was due to a suspension.
Peppers played a variety of positions during his tenure in Green Bay, so it’s logical that he could slot in at defensive end, linebacker, or even defensive tackle. The Panthers have a trio of first-rounders manning linebacker, so it’s unlikely that he’ll start there. It’s more likely that he’ll start at defensive end, where he’ll be competing with Mario Addison and Kony Ealy for snaps.
PFR ranked Peppers as the seventh-best free agent edge defender.