Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers has passed his physical and has been removed from the PUP list, as David Newton of ESPN.com reports. The team has a practice at 3:15 this afternoon, and Peppers will participate.
Peppers reunited with the Panthers last offseason after a four-year run with the Bears and a three-year stint with the Packers. The former No. 2 overall pick turned back the clock, as he posted 11 sacks for Carolina in 2017, his highest total since the 2012 campaign. His efforts made him the best pass rusher on this year’s free agent market in our eyes, despite the fact that he is now 38 years old.
Sack totals are not necessarily indicative of overall performance, but Pro Football Focus graded Peppers as a league-average defensive end last year, ranking him 63rd among 110 qualifying edge defenders. He played 50% of Carolina’s defensive snaps in 2017, and he’ll likely continue in a rotational role during the upcoming season.
The surefire Hall-of-Famer will earn $5MM in 2018, which represents a nice raise from the $3.5MM he made last year. He has accumulated a whopping 154.5 sacks in his career, the fourth-most in league history, and he could pass Kevin Greene‘s 160 mark this season. He also has nine Pro Bowls and three first-team All-Pro selections to his credit, but he is still chasing that elusive Super Bowl ring. He is hoping to achieve that last milestone with the team that drafted him over 16 years ago.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.