Julius Peppers: Latest News, Rumors and Speculation on Packers LB's Future

Mike NorrisFeatured Columnist

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 3: Outside linebacker Julius Peppers #56 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after a sack during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 3, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)
Andrew Weber/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers veteran outside linebacker Julius Peppers said he is “not sure” if he will return for the 2016 season, according to Ryan Wood of USA Today.

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Peppers Still Mum on His Future

Monday, Jan. 18

After his team's 26-20 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, Peppers wasn't in the mood to discuss his plans.

“We'll talk about that when it's time,” he said.

Next year would be Peppers' 15th in the NFL. The eight-time Pro Bowler has 136 sacks (10.5 in 2015), 11 interceptions and six defensive touchdowns in his career.

Per Wood, the 36-year-old Peppers has plenty of good football left in him, but a return next year wouldn't come cheap for the Packers:

Peppers appeared to have plenty of high-quality football left this season. His pass-rush explosion off the edge was especially important for the Packers defense. With Peppers pressuring the quarterback, the Packers were able to keep Clay Matthews at inside linebacker exclusively without a diminished pass rush.

Still, Peppers has long said he’ll decide on his future during the offseason. He will command a costly cap hit next season, though it’ll be less than this past year. He’s scheduled to count $10.5 million against the cap in 2016. He counted $12 million against the cap in 2015.

The Carolina Panthers drafted Peppers at No. 2 overall in 2002. He spent eight seasons with the team as a defensive end, playing in Super Bowl XXXVIII. He played for the Chicago Bears from 2010 to 2013 before joining Green Bay in 2014 and making the switch to linebacker.