Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson sees “no evidence of any decline” in DE Julius Peppers’ play, the 61-year old recently told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne. Peppers, an 8-time Pro Bowler, signed a 3-year, $30 million deal with Green Bay March 15, officially ending his time as a rival.
“Well, 34 is not so old,” Thompson said. “Not for some of us. There’s no evidence of any decline in his play, in our opinion. He still has the same athletic traits that he had coming out. He’s had a remarkable history in the NFL in terms of durability. We’re looking forward to it. I think he is, too.”
During his four seasons in Chicago, Peppers averaged a solid 35 annual tackles, a slight decline from the 39 he averaged during his time with the Panthers from 2002-2009. Technically something not so great, but still, considering that Green Bay’s two main defensive ends in 2013, Johnny Jolly and B.J. Raji, collected just 21 and 17 tackles, respectively, so Peppers is definitely an upgrade.
And remember, it’s not like the Packers need a perfect defense to win this year. They already have arguably the league’s best offense, so, in my opinion, a defense ranked somewhere in the middle of the league would be more than enough to help them collect at least 13 victories.