After months of debating, wondering, and speculation, it appears that Carolina Panthers Defensive End Julius Peppers will report to Spartanburg S.C. Aug. 2 for training camp.
The news broke Friday as Panthers Play-by-Play voice Mick Mixon told 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio that a linebacker for the team received a text message from Peppers.
"My friend, one of the linebackers said 'hey look at this we got a text from Julius'," Mixon told The Insiders on Thursday. "The text said 'hey, out here in Arizona working out, I won't be early for camp but I won't be late, and I'll be ready to go."
Peppers voiced his desires to be a free agent and pursue other opportunities, possibly in a 3-4 defensive scheme, after the team’s loss to Arizona in the 2009 Div. Round Playoffs in Charlotte in January.
During the off-season Carolina placed the franchise tag on Peppers preventing him from entering free agency. The franchise tag is equivalent to a one year deal and will be worth over $16 million for the 2009 season.
The Panthers have one week left of summer school OTA’s, and while the workouts are voluntary, Peppers is the only defensive starter not to make an appearance.
Carolina goes into the 2009 season with a new defensive coordinator, Ron Meeks, and it would have been a plus for Peppers to attend the OTA’s to become a little more familiar with Meeks.