Julius Peppers has thrown another curveball into the Panthers attempts to receive compensation for the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end.
According to an Associated Press source speaking on condition of anonymity, Peppers has said that he will only agree to a trade that involved one of four teams.
The only team that was named from the list is the Dallas Cowboys. The source stated that two of the other teams were NFC teams and that the last was an AFC team.
This greatly limits the options for the Panthers. Since Peppers contract is expiring, he would have to sign a deal with a prospective team before a trade could be finalized and validated.
News that three of the four teams are fellow NFC foes can't sit well with the organization, as many hoped Peppers would end up in the AFC where the team wouldn't have to face him in the future.
If the Panthers are able to work out a deal with offensive lineman Jordan Gross by Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline to designate the franchise tag, then it has been widely thought that Peppers would receive the Panthers tag, causing them to give him $16.7 million for a one-year deal and ensuring that they would not lose Peppers without compensation in the form of two first round picks.
The Cowboys do not currently own a first round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, so it is unclear as to how the Cowboys could make a case to receive Peppers if he is franchised.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined to comment at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.
More information will be made available as it comes to light.