Report: Julius Peppers Expects to Play in 2017
Julius Peppers wants at least one more shot at a Super Bowl title. His agent tells ESPN this morning that the 37-year-old defensive legend is working out in Miami in preparation for his 16th season.
Reportedly, the Packers and Peppers spoke during the Combine over the weekend.
Peppers signed a three year, $26 million contract with the Packers in 2014 and is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
He was credited with 7.5 sacks last season and has totaled 25 over his three seasons in Green Bay. He’s currently 13th on the Packers’ all-time sack leaderboard.
The Packers have a shortage of available pass rushers, and their list could grow shorter if Nick perry signs elsewhere. Assuming the price is right, both the Packers and Peppers would presumably be interested in continuing their partnership for a fourth season.
Price, however, could be a sticking point. Peppers has been well compensated for his rare physical gifts throughout his career, but at 37, the flashes of athleticism are coming less frequently.
How the Packers used Julius Peppers
The Packers know that, too: Peppers was deployed on just 56.75% of the defensive plays in 2016, down from 66.44% in 2015 and 73.95% in 2014. Green Bay will surely want to pay him like the rotational player he’s become, and whether Peppers is willing to accept that will be a major point of contention in whatever negotiations take place.
Still, it must be emphasized that the Packers are in desperate need of players with any kind of pass rushing ability. Right now, the only outside linebackers on the roster are Clay Matthews, Kyler Fackrell, and Jayrone Elliott. Even if Peppers is a shadow of the player he used to be, he’d still be a welcome addition to that group.