Julius Peppers: Good Fit With Jacksonville?
Let the rumors begin, Julius Peppers looks to be heading out of Carolina.
With that said, it is only necessary for you to question whether or not your favorite team is a possible landing spot for Peppers. After some rather deep thinking, it is quite obvious that Peppers would be a monster upgrade in Jacksonville.
Lets take a look at the pro's and con's of bringing Peppers into Jacksonville:
1. Jacksonville ranked dead last in sacks last season. Finishing with a total of 13 (Peppers had 10.5 sacks last season) Peppers brings a seasoned veteran with a resume full of sacks.
2. The Jaguars did not have one player with more than 3.0 sacks last season.
3. Peppers could help with the growth and maturity of young DE Derrick Harvey. Harvey has been a complete bust after being selected eighth overall. The attention that Pepper's would attract would leave Harvey with some favorable matchups.
4. Jacksonville needs help with ticket sales—Peppers is a large name player with a large fan-base.
5. AFC South is filled with Pro-Bowl quarterbacks that need to be pressured. All four of the AFC South quarterback's made the Pro Bowl—pretty impressive. If the Jaguars want any chance of defeating the Colts, Texans, and Titans, then pressure needs to start being applied to these great athletes. Manning toys with this defense whenever he plays them.
6. Would allow the Jaguars to not feel the need to reach in the upcoming draft if a defensive end is available at pick 10 or 11. Could wait till the third round or later to bring in a young guy with plenty of upside that can learn under Peppers and Harvey.
7. The defense would gain a leader. A captain in Carolina, Peppers would bring leadership, experience, and a whole lot of talent.
1. Money. Peppers is going to be looking for a large, large contract. I don't believe he will get quite around what Haynesworth got last season, but more than likely he will want a four to six year contract worth at least $60-70 million. Can the Jaguars afford him? If they can afford him—will it affect them being able to bring in other, younger talent?
2. Peppers just turned 30, therefore, age will start to become a factor in a large contract. Given that he just turned 30, Peppers still has some great seasons ahead of him.
3. Consistency. Although it is hard to argue that Pepper's isn't a great defensive end, he has had a couple of rough seasons. Whether it was struggling with injuries or just not playing up to his potential, in 2007, Pepper's registered only 2.5 sacks in 14 games.
Obviously the pros outweigh the cons—but that doesn't mean he would be a great fit with Jacksonville. Just like with every other free agent, it will come down to the amount of money and years that Peppers will be looking for.
Regardless of whether or not Jacksonville takes a realistic shot at Peppers, the Jaguars must upgrade their passrush. Pepper's name is just the first one out there that could have an impact.
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