The stalemate with disgruntled defensive end Julius Peppers continues in Carolina. The Panthers opened up their first three-day mini-camp this morning and, surprise surprise, Peppers was nowhere to be found.
Peppers' absence on Friday is just the latest chapter in the seemingly never-ending struggle between the two sides to come to a consensus about the four-time pro bowler's future.
Peppers has stated that he would like to go play as the rushing linebacker in a 3-4 defense, adding that he feels he has done everything he can do in Carolina and needs to move to a different team to continue to fulfill his potential.
The Panthers designated Peppers as their franchise player back in February, but he has yet to sign to the $16.7 million tender. Since he has not signed, he cannot be fined for missing this weekend's mini-camp.
The front office in Carolina does not seem to be too worried about the situation. General manager Marty Hurney has stated on several occasions that he fully expects Peppers to suit up in the black and silver next year, and that all talks between the organization and Peppers' agent Carl Carey have been "positive."
The Panthers are not objected to trading Peppers but until he signs the franchise tender, the only person who can negotiate potential trades with other teams is Carey. It is unclear whether there is just no market for Peppers, or whether Carey's relative inexperience as an agent is hampering any potential trade talks at this point.