Not long ago, Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers, came out and said that he was not sure about his playing future in the NFL for the 2016 season.
Yet it appears at this point that Peppers — the nine-time Pro Bowler — has made up his mind. According to a tidbit by Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report, Peppers said that he plans to play next season, even if he were to get cut by the Packers.
That’s great news for Packers fans, because in my opinion, as long as Peppers commits to playing next year, he will do so in a Green Bay.
This past season, the former No. 2 overall pick proved that he still has plenty left in the tank as he recorded a team-high 10.5 sacks. He also notched 36 tackles and two forced fumbles.
And for those type of numbers, the money Green Bay would owe Peppers isn’t bad. His cap number would be around $7 million and with the Packers projected to be $20 million or more under the cap — they should have more than enough cash to keep him around.
At this point, I believe that the Packers’ brass believes enough in Peppers to bring him back at the full price next season. He can still rush the passer and while he isn’t who he used to be, when he is used correctly he can still dominate.
The bottom line here is that if Green Bay is serious about making a run at the Super Bowl next year, which could be its last great chance with this specific group of core guys, keeping Peppers on the roster is a must.
Both Nick Perry and Mike Neal are free agents and no team wants to face the possibility of losing three of its four top pass-rushers for nothing.
So expect to see Peppers back in Green Bay if he is on an NFL field next fall and if not and he’s playing somewhere else — then as the title indicates — the Packers would be idiots to let that happen.