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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Panthers tag DE Peppers, sign LT Gross to deal
    Sporting News - RSS Feed
    Posted: February 19, 2009

    The Panthers have informed free-agent defensive end Julius Peppers that they are using the "franchise tag" on him, agent Carl Carey told Sporting News' Albert Breer.

    Peppers, if he signs the one-year tender, would be guaranteed $16.683 million in 2009.

    Peppers, 29, said Wednesday that he would prefer to be traded and gave the club a wish list that includes only four teams. Three of them are in the NFC, including the Cowboys, who said earlier in the week they are not interested in Peppers and have no first-round pick to offer in a deal. Ideally, Carolina doesn't want to trade him to a team in its own conference.

    The Panthers were able to tag Peppers after reaching a six-year agreement with left tackle Jordan Gross on Thursday afternoon, worth a reported $60 million, including $30.5 million guaranteed.

    "We're done," Gross, 28, told the Rock Hill Herald. "It was tough, because they had a number they wanted to stay within," Gross said. "But if I go into the (free agent) market, the sky would have been the limit. I took a cut to stay here, but it was important for me to be in a place I wanted to be, and to make sure we were able to have a competitive team."

    The newspaper reports that when the final numbers are tallied, Gross is expected to be the highest-paid Panther ever.

    Gross, who has been with the Panthers for six years and was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2008, played under the franchise tag last season.


  2. #2
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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    So much for that plan. Looks better for drafting an OT.

  3. #3
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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Good. I didn't want us toying around with the idea of signing the highest paid OT ever.

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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Any chance we look at another FA Offensive Tackle, or are we going to have to address this in the draft now?

  5. #5
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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Well of course the chance is out there to sign one, but what OT'll be better than what we have already, and available, other than the draft?

  6. #6
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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Oh darn, having Gross would have been a serious upgrade, but not for that kind of money; I still say we should see what last year rookies can do before we draft a OT so high in the draft.

  7. #7
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    I still say we should see what last year rookies can do before we draft a OT so high in the draft.
    Except Greco and Schuening are both fits at guard, not tackle. Greco was drafted as a tackle but it didn't take long for the coaching staff to recognize his long-term prospects being better at guard, and I don't think that changes under Spags. So really, we have nothing of substance behind Pace and Barron except for Goldberg, who I believe is a free agent.

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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Except Greco and Schuening are both fits at guard, not tackle. Greco was drafted as a tackle but it didn't take long for the coaching staff to recognize his long-term prospects being better at guard, and I don't think that changes under Spags. So really, we have nothing of substance behind Pace and Barron except for Goldberg, who I believe is a free agent.
    Sorry Nick, our last set of talent evaluators weren't the best so I'm not at all at ease with Greco being back at guard just yet.

  9. #9
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Panthers officially tag Peppers, sign Gross to six-year deal

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    Sorry Nick, our last set of talent evaluators weren't the best so I'm not at all at ease with Greco being back at guard just yet.
    Even if you don't have confidence in our previous coaching staff's post-draft evaluation, we got to see Greco play at guard this year briefly and he played well. Ultimately I think that's where he ends up, but even if he replaces Barron at right tackle, we're still left with a big hole when it comes to Pace's replacement. Neither of the rookie linemen we drafted last year solve that problem for us, which makes tackle a big priority this offseason. With the Rams unlikely to find the heir apparent in free agency, they're going to have to look to the draft at some point.

    EDIT: By the way, Devaney was part of the talent evaluating tree last year and I don't see any reason to not put faith in him at this point. And in his draft press conference after making the pick, he talked about Greco's versatility and how they could line him up at right tackle but also at guard. Take a look...

    #3 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 3, 65th overall): John Greco, OL, Toledo
    Last edited by Nick; -02-20-2009 at 03:48 PM.

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