Rumor: Julius Peppers to Patriots?

For the past month or so, Patriots fans have begged and pleaded for the Patriots to consider making a play with free agent or francise tagged to be defensive end / outside linebacker Julius Players.  At first I balked at the idea, epsecially at the idea of trading him for Cassel.  But tonight, I received a tip saying that Peppers and the Patriots had mutual interest.  Then, rumor came of a radio station in North Carolina reporting that the Patriots have interest in Peppers.  I really am doubting the validity of this rumor, but I’ll throw it out there anyways.

The Facts:

  • Julius Peppers wants to play for a 3-4 team
  • Julius Peppers wants to play for an elite team
  • Julius Peppers has never played 3-4 outside linebacker
  • The Patriots have less than $7 million in cap space
  • The Panthers offered Peppers a near record contract for a defensive player
  • There are reportedly four teams with mutual interest in Julius Peppers.  The Cowboys, two other NFC teams, and one AFC team.
  • The Patriots already have Mike Vrabel, Shawn Crable, Adalius Thomas,  and Tully Banta-Cain under contract at outside linebacker, with Pierre Woods a restricted free agent and likely to receive a tender.

The Unconfirmed

  • The Patriots are that unnamed AFC team
  • The Panthers will franchise Peppers
  • The Panthers are unhappy with their current quarterback situation

While I still doubt the Pats will make a move for Peppers, I had to throw this rumor out there.  Again, it is completely unconfirmed.  95% of the “tips” I get are complete trash from fans trying to stir something up, but then I saw it floating around other places.

Also, keep in mind, if the Pats were to acquire Peppers, they would have to work out a long term deal to sign him.  They could also save cap room by backloading his contract.

Again, take this with a grain of salt until I can get something with a little substance.

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16 Responses to Rumor: Julius Peppers to Patriots?

  1. r1zzo23 says:

    Adding Peppers would be nice, but with our current cap situation along with the players we already have under contract, I don’t see this happening.

  2. Greg says:

    Yeah, while we might have interest, and it may even be mutual, I just don’t think it works out $$$ wise.

    And Matt Cassel will NOT be traded straight up for Julius Peppers. Those types of trades just don’t happen in the NFL.

    However, if Peppers isn’t tagged, and he is willing to sign a contract like Donte Stallworth, it might be worth a shot. Say he gets $3 million guaranteed the first year, but then a large roster bonus if it works out for next year. Something in the range of 10 or 12 million (in what may be an uncapped year).

  3. Scott says:

    How legit is this rumor?

  4. Greg says:

    It hasn’t really been backed up by any media outlets, so I wouldn’t read too much into yet. But it certainly wouldn’t be inconceivable that Peppers would want to play for the Patriots. It also isn’t inconceivable that the Patriots would be interested in Peppers.

    So I would guess that there is some validity to this rumor. How much? Time will tell. But I’m sure Bill Belichick and the personnel department will look into Peppers. Again, I’m just not sure how serious the Patriots intentions are, especially considering their financial limitations.

  5. kyle4beantown says:

    The patriots are the unnamed AFC team that Peppers has interest in, as reported by Adam Shefter of the NFL network on D&C this morning

  6. urmom says:

    The pats dont have tully banta-cain. he left a year ago.

  7. Lookspossiblenow says:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2009/02/mike_vrabel_ana.html

    With the Vrabel trade, this suddenly looks a lot more realistic

  8. […] Holy cow. It’s an understatement to say this came out of nowhere. Vrabel, possibly more than another other Patriot save Tom Brady, has personified the way the Patriots dynasty was built. The consummate Bill Belichick player. A spare part in Pittsburgh, he was a mid level free agent role player in 2001 that Belichick called the minute the free agency period began. When the two sat down, Vrabel said he was blown away that Belichick could recite chapter and verse the minutae of complex reads that Vrabel made in obscure plays he was involved in. Vrabel signed here and right from the jump established himself as an indispensible part of the Patriots championships. Including on offense where he literally is the only guy in football history of whom you can honestly say "He was a threat to score every time he touched the ball." This is astonishing, news really. And there’s still no word on what they might be getting in return. Maybe it means there’s something to all those Matt Cassel for Julius Peppers rumors . […]

  9. Paul R. says:

    Now the Patriots don’t have Cassel’s and Vrabel’s cap space hit. Does a deal sound more feasible now? I think so.

  10. CarolinaFan says:

    a 23 and 34 pick for peppers…good deal?

  11. davwardavich says:

    1 year, $16.7 million for Peppers franchise tender… Do you really think he’ll take *THAT* big of a paycut to play for the Pats? You think he’ll take 3 million in guaranteed the first year? Really?? He’s not in his 30’s yet. Yeah we need a pass rusher but Peppers won’t end up in New England because he’ll get more money elsewhere (Jerry Jones likes to throw lots of money at big names and just got rid of TO). Why would BB use draft pick(s) AND cap space for him when BB’s as good at evaluating talent as anyone? We still need money to sign our draft picks and restructure some contracts (Wilfork et al), before we hit the possible uncapped period, and we would then have to (Wil)fork up a lot more dough than we would have to right now. Also, since Peppers is a franchised player wouldn’t Carolina have to prove that they tried to retain him in good faith/sign him long term or whatever before they could trade him? Obviously the Cassel situation was unique due to Brady’s questionable return, but the only franchised players to be traded that I can even think of off the top of my head are Cassel and Tebucky Jones…still don’t know how we got away with shipping him off. Sneaky Patriots.

    Peppers is slated to make more money than our living legend Tom “EDynastyWARD” Brady and IMO BB would rather draft someone like a Larry English or a similar tweener with that first pick if he’s on the board. Maybe get a couple of cheap young hungry DE’s. People are quick to forget we won our Super Bowls with a bunch of underpaid “nobodies” with heart. I don’t see a ring on Randy’s finger yet. We have some nice picks this year. There’s gotta be something in play to replace Vrabes though. There HAS to be. He was our only semi-reliable pass rusher. Why didn’t we ship off Tedi instead of Vrabel? Our best pass rusher now is probably like Jarvis Green or something… *flashes back to Eli Manning avoiding our woeful pass rush in the Super Bowl and hurling up a duck towards like triple coverage…* Bad pass rush + bad pass coverage = Bad pass defense = our biggest weakness. Our run D used to be bad and pass D good but those two areas have switched places now it seems. You can’t give WRs all day to run around even with Deion and Champ in their primes defending them. I think we’ll draft the best players regardless of ‘need’ when it comes time to choose, but at least get one promising young corner/DE to help grow. No one’s sold on Wheatley or Wilhite just yet.

    The only way I see this happening is if NE gives up its 23rd (imo they draft a DE or parlay the pick into more/or future picks though – but you never know), Pats sign him to a nasty, long term, incentive laden, backloaded contract, and Bob Kraft *accidently* *misinterpretes* where he placed the keys to his private jet, filled with rubies and emeralds, that just so happen to show up on Pepper’s front porch. In other words I don’t really see it happening unless Peppers WANTS to sign for the ‘low low’ for a year with options or something – get his ring, perform, and then hit free agency uncapped, and then ready to get paid – now that could be a possibility if Belichick could talk him into it. Think BB will go a different direction on this issue however… but then again it is hard to predict the actions of a wizard in his ivory tower. It is only he with the crystal ball.

  12. […] in February, PatriotsBlog.net was the first to report rumor of Julius Peppers being acquired by the Patriots.  One Mike Vrabel was traded, the trade […]

  13. jade984 says:

    THE MONEY IS TIGHT. BUT YOU KNOW HOW BELICHICK CAN TALK PLAYERS IN FOR LESS MONEY. I HOPE PEPPERS CAN GO TO NEWENGLAND IT WILL JUST HELP US WIN ANOTHER SUPERBOWL

  14. […] Julius Peppers would be a good fit with Patriots (Patriots […]

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