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Old 06-25-2009   #1
Wolf
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Default Peppers ends stalemate, signs franchise tender

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—With one signature, Julius Peppers(notes) went from a disgruntled star seeking to leave town to a rich man who may stick around in Carolina for awhile.

Peppers signed his one-year, $16.7 million tender with the Panthers on Wednesday, five months after the four-time Pro Bowl selection first announced he wanted to play elsewhere next season.

And while the move means Peppers won’t hold out of training camp, agent Carl Carey indicated late Wednesday that Peppers is happy with his lucrative one-year deal and is no longer opposed to discussing a long-term deal with the Panthers.

“Recently, I’ve had positive and productive discussions with the organization,” Peppers said in a statement released by Carey. “I am optimistic and focused as I look forward to the upcoming NFL season.”

Shortly after the Panthers were eliminated in the playoffs in January, Peppers said he was “maxed out” in Carolina and wanted to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

The franchise’s all-time sacks leader insisted he would never sign a long-term contract with the Panthers and pleaded for them to not place the restrictive franchise tag on him. The Panthers did it anyway. It meant the Panthers had to give him a contract that would pay him more than $1 million a game, but another team couldn’t sign him unless it gave Carolina two first-round draft picks in return.

Peppers refused to sign the tender or attend offseason minicamps and optional workouts. While Carey said they received some interest from other teams, no deal was struck.

Peppers, who had been working out in Arizona, decided to sign with Carolina when he realized he had few other options. Before that, Carey said Peppers had discussions with the Panthers that softened his stance on his future with the team. The 29-year-old Peppers turned down a long-term contract before the start of last season.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_yl...v=ap&type=lgns

keep your eyes peeled on this one, if Peppers signs long term later on... we can gauge what Mario will command once his contract is up
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