If Julius Peppers Is Aiming for a 3-4 Defense or Bust, Are 49ers a Possibility?

DannyBoy SportsTalkCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2009

This just in:

Julius Peppers has decided against re-signing with the Carolina Panthers. In doing so, he has made it known that his desire is to play in a 3-4 defense where his strengths would be better suited.

Immediately, it became clear that the front runners should be the San Francisco 49ers.


Obtaining Peppers would result in two things happening.

First, the pass rush would certainly improve. Peppers tallied 14 1/2 sacks last year, and has 41 in his first four years.

But secondly, and most importantly, the secondary play would increase. A great pass rush means cornerbacks don't have to cover their man as long. A rested cornerback means a frustrated wide receiver.

A frustrated wide receiver means big play potential is severely limited. It also means Mark Roman may finally go from being known as "the free safety who hasn't had a pick in over two years" to "the free safety who went two years without a pick." Big difference, there.

Justin Smith and Julius Peppers on the same defense? Greg Manusky, defensive coordinator of the 49ers, must be salivating at the endless possibilities and overwhelming pass rush opportunities.

Those two attacking the quarterback would be like a certain cream on athlete's foot. Boom, tough-actin' Tinactin!

Here is one author who hopes the 49ers are willing to trade, or in the case of a franchise tag, offer a term sheet to Peppers. The possibilities are worth dreaming about. Just ask Manusky.