The 2010 NFL free agency is just getting underway, and already speculation is running rampant as to where the top free agents will be playing next season. Carolina Panther’s defensive end Julius Peppers is one of those free agents, and should garner attention from a number of NFL teams this off-season.
Peppers has stated that “Anywhere is a potential landing spot”. This would lead most to believe that Peppers will consider offers from 31 NFL teams not named the Carolina Panthers.
Enter the Tennessee Titan’s, one of the 31 NFL teams not named the Carolina Panthers. At 6’6 283 pounds Julius Peppers is an absolute beast on the field and has the stats to prove it. In his 8 season career, Peppers has totaled 81 sacks, 6 interceptions and 30 (YES 30) forced fumbles. Peppers is the type of rare defensive player, who can absolutely take over a game.
Signing Peppers to the Tennessee Titan’s roster is a financial risk, but is well worth taking. I’m sure the Saints were nervous offering $60 million dollars to Drew Brees coming off major shoulder surgery in 2006, but I’d say that decision worked out. That said, here are several reason why the Titans should sign Julius Peppers this off-season:
1) Adding Peppers to the Titans roster would resurrect the team’s pass rush which managed only 32 sacks in 2009. Last season, Peppers had 10.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and 5 forced fumbles. With stats like this in 2010 the Titans would have a defensive player who stretches the field, makes plays and causes turnovers. Peppers could also offer valuable insight and leadership to the likes of budding William Hayes, Jacob Ford and Jason Jones. The Titans need a player who consistently gets to the quarterback if they ever want to compete with the Colts and Chargers of the league.
2) Peppers could not only be a great player for the Titans, but he could also be a tremendous mental influence for the team. The Titan’s defense seemed like it gave up at times in 2009. With the possibility of losing Keith Bulluck and Kyle Vanden Bosch this off-season, the team will need a veteran, vocal leader. Peppers could bring a swagger back to the Titan’s defense, which the team lost under first year defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil. With a new identity under Peppers, this defense could really take off in 2010.
3) Signing Peppers would show Titan’s fans that this team will do what it takes to win in 2010. For years now the Tennessee Titans have brought in second and third tier free agents, hoping they would turn in to Pro Bowlers. With the exception of Kyle Vanden Bosch, and Chris Hope this philosophy has generally not worked out. Titan’s fans need to see that Bud Adams is willing to open his wallet to take this team to the next level. If this organization is serious about making it to the Super Bowl this decade, then they will need to take some risks.