Behind the Rumor: How the Julius Peppers-to-New England Trade Could Work

Jeffrey MannCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2009

Ever since Vic Carucci's piece on NFL.com, every possible football pundit has come out of the woodwork with reasons why this trade would never work, reasons Peppers could never get the contract he wants.

For those unaware, Carucci reveals that talks between the Patriots and the Carolina Panthers have taken place regarding trading Julius Peppers for the 34th overall pick in the draft.

Michael Smith of ESPN and Adam Schefter of NFL.com have both belittled the possibility of this trade.

Unfortunately for them, they made a critical mistake in their judgement.

Both cited re-signing Vince Wilfork and Richard Seymour as reasons the Patriots would never have enough money to pull this off. I'm here to tell you this: The Patriots are not going to re-sign Richard Seymour, especially if they can get Julius Peppers.

Peppers might not get that initial dollar amount he wants this year, but the Patriots could easily allow for a longer term deal with roughly $8 million this year and escalating to $11-12 million a year following that.

Richard Seymours' cap hit this year is for $9.8 million. That is an additional $9.8 million of cap space for next year, part of which could be applied to the escalation in Peppers' salary.

Many will think this idea is far-fetched, but consider Seymours' recent injury history. He has not been healthy for an entire season since 2004. Also consider the $7.5 million recently invested in promising backup defensive lineman Mike Wright, and prior to that, Jarvis Green.

The Patriots do not idly invest money so that these players can warm the bench. For them to commit four years to Mike Wright means that they want to increase his snaps, as he showed good pass-rush ability in limited action last season.

Also, I'm sure Julius Peppers could fill in as a defensive end from time to time.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.