Probably the highest profile free agent, Julius Peppers was reportedly offered $14 million a year by the Carolina Panthers, writes Pat Yasinskas of ESPN's NFC South blog.
According to several sources, the Panthers made a last-ditch offer to their defensive end sometime shortly before they announced they would let him walk into unrestricted free agency. The offer was for somewhere close to $14 million a year, the sources said.
But Peppers declined and the Panthers promptly turned around and said they would not franchise him and would let him become a free agent. In the NFL, most things are usually all about money. In this case, I think we have the exception.
For those of you hoping for the Bengals to make a run at the premiere defensive end who has recorded 10 or more sacks in six of his eight seasons, two words come to mind. Fat chance. As it stands, the Bengals are likely content with the stock they have now. Antwan Odom nearly turned the movie 2012 into a documentary early in 2009. Robert Geathers recorded once recorded a 10.5-sack season in 2006. And in my opinion, Michael Johnson has the most upside. His beastly 6'7" frame isn't being used on every snap, so when he rotates in, he's fresh. Jonathan Fanene has caused the opposition problems and when Frostee Rucker is actually healthy, he can be effective.
Still, none of them compares to Julius Peppers. Since his 10.5 sack season in 2006, Geathers has yet to match that total in the three seasons combined since; 42 games played, 9.5 sacks, three seasons. Most of Antwan Odom's eight sacks through the first four games in 2009 came against a backup offensive lineman in Green Bay.
Rejecting a $14 million a year deal? We have no shot. It also doesn't help that the Redskins are expected to attach a nuclear bomb to the idea of a salary cap, driving up the price for Peppers.