Advice on the Julius Peppers Situation: Don't Trade Him!

Thaddeus YeiserCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2009

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 23: Defensive end Julius Peppers talks with coach John Fox of the Carolina Panthers during play against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on November 23, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Here's my advice to the Carolina Panthers on the Julius Peppers situation. Stay where you’re at!

I know that the 34th overall pick is tempting to a team without a first round draft pick, but it’s not enough. Here are the reasons why the Panthers should not trade Peppers to the Patriots, or anyone for the matter:

A rookie lineman will not be able to fill his shoes

The Panthers are in win-now mode. Their window of opportunity could be closing, and giving up a dominant, elite pass rusher would be a bad call.

If we were a young team, under a new coach, I could see that happening, but we're not, and the Panthers can't afford to draft a lineman to replace him and wait for him to grow and mature.

He is worth at least a No. 1 pick

If you look at all the defensive linemen in the draft, and find one that will, in his first year, get you 14.5 sacks, I'll be shocked. Pick one that'll get ten sacks, even, that would be surprising as well.

2007 was not the real Peppers

Some experts are saying that Peppers could very well have a bad year in 2009, like he did in 2007. This could prove true, who's to say?

I, however, believe that Peppers has many reasons for why he did poorly in '07. Firstly, Mike Minter retired just before that season, and it was a huge shock to the defense, whom Minter had been the emotional leader of for years. 

Peppers was forced to step into that role, and that just was not his style. The other thing is that I believe he may have been nursing an injury that he had to play through. All these reasons could contribute to a down year, and I don't believe Peppers will have another like it.

He is perfectly fit for the 4-3 Defense

We all know what Pep is saying about wanting to be in a 3-4, but if you listen to the experts, they'll all agree that he is perfect for the system he's in.

At 6'7", 295, and freakishly athletic for his size, he works well at defensive end. The 3-4 requires heavier defensive ends, and smaller outside linebackers. He won't get the kind of production he's used to in a 3-4. It's that simple.

Has played in Carolina his whole life

High School, College, and Pros. He's never suited up for any team that wasn't based in North Carolina. It would be a shame to see him leave his home state.

It's not like he's old

Peppers has probably five more years where he'll be playing at a high level we're used to. He's a veteran, but its not like he's about to just drop. If we trade him now, he's only going to go to another team, and dominate (if it's a 4-3). We can't afford that.

Two of the teams he wants traded to are NFC East teams

Guess which division is on our schedule next year? That's right, the NFC East. I'd prefer to not have him come to town wearing, Cowboy blue, or Eagle Green, and start beating up on us. No thank you!

So basically I believe it's in the best interest for the team, the city, the fans, and even Peppers himself to just stay put. I know its tempting to try and trade players, and see what you can get, but the Panthers need to do the smartest thing in this situation.



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