The 49ers and Julius Peppers: A Waiting Game

S LCorrespondent IMay 10, 2009

HONOLULU, HI - FEBRUARY 08: Defensive end Julius Peppers #90 of the NFC All-Stars Carolina Panthers intercepts a late game pass and gets tackled by Leon Washington #29 of the AFC All-Stars New York Jets in the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on February 8, 2009 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The NFC defeated the AFC 30-21. (Photo by Paul Spinelli/Getty Images)

Matt Barrows had a Q&A on his blog and the topic of Julius Peppers was brought up. Peppers was a free agent entering this off-season, but the Panthers put the franchise tag on the disgruntled defensive end.

Peppers has voiced his desire to play for a 3-4 defense and trading Peppers might be the only solution for the Panthers.

Question: Matt, you got everyone all jazzed up about a possible trade for Julius Peppers and then nothing happens? What the hell, dude?
- Ronald, Oakland

Answer: Patience, Ronald. Patience. I don't imagine anything would happen too soon. The Panthers and Peppers are currently engaged in a staring contest. Those situations typically don't get resolved until training camp at the earliest.

If the Panthers end up blinking and look to trade Peppers, the 49ers have as much ammunition as any team to make a deal. That's all I was saying in the original post...
- Matt

When I think about the Peppers deal, I don't know if the 49ers are willing to give up so much for him.

Not only would a trade for Peppers require the 49ers to possibly give up a first- or second-round pick, but it will also require them to give Peppers a contract that might pay him about $15 million a year.

For a team that is trying to build the franchise from the bottom up, spending so much on one player goes against the philosophy of the team.

Of course, Peppers is a huge upgrade and would definitely make the team better in the pass rushing category, but at what price would the 49ers give up to get him?

At this point right now, they shouldn't even think about it. It's a lot to give up for Peppers.