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Pft: Panthers Shopping Peppers?


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We've received several e-mails over the past couple of days regarding rumors that the Carolina Panthers are poised to trade defensive end Julius Peppers.

And so we've actually engaged in a little "real" journalism -- and in some of our good, old-fashioned rumor mongering.

There are rumors in league circles that the Panthers are quietly shopping Peppers. He has a big cap number in 2007, and there's a school of thought that the Panthers aren't willing to pay him what it would take to keep him over the long haul, especially since the price tag could go up if/when the Ravens sign Terrell Suggs to a long-term deal.

But it takes two to do the trade tango, and we've yet to confirm that any of the other 31 teams have been approached about acquiring the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 draft.

Peppers had only 2.5 sacks last season, down from 13.0 the year before. He had been expected to be in line for a Dwight Freeney-style deal with $30 million guaranteed and a $12 million per year average.

Agent Carl Carey tells PFT that he and Peppers have heard the rumors, but that they have no merit.

"We fully expect that Julius Peppers will be a Carolina Panther this football season," Carey said.

At this point, there's no concrete reason to believe otherwise. But unless and until Peppers signs a new contract with the Panthers, the trade whispers will continue.


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