Julius Peppers Signs Franchise Tender, Ends Saga...For Now

Austin PennyAnalyst IJune 24, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 09: Julius Peppers #90 of the Carolina Panthers motions on the field during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Bank of America Stadium on August, 9, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers' official website is reporting that Julius Peppers has signed his franchise tender, solidifying his status as a member of the team for the 2009 season.


After four controversial months that included Peppers publicly saying he had no interest to return to the Panthers, the four-time Pro Bowler signed the $16.683 million franchise tag the team placed on him in February. 


The Panthers' front office has been confident throughout the offseason that Peppers would be signed and present at training camp, and that will be the case.


The next step will be determining who will start at left defensive end opposite of Peppers. Whether veteran Tyler Brayton retains his starting spot will likely depend largely on his performance at training camp, where he will compete with the up-and-coming Charles Johnson as well as rookie Everette Brown, whom the Panthers gave up a first round pick in 2010 to select in the second round of this year's draft.


Peppers will have a long way to go before he can regain the confidence of the Panthers' fans who are understandably angered over his offseason charades, but signing and reporting to training camp will be a start.


Austin Penny is the Carolina Panthers' Fan Voice on NFLTouchdown.com.  Check out his work here.