The Peppers bridges are burned (link)
It's too late for a reconciliation. Peppers has guaranteed that, by saying more in the last six weeks than the last seven years.
He's not a bad guy because he wants out, wants to play in a new system in a new city for a new challenge.
He's always known he was a special talent, telling his college teammates "Imagine if I worked hard?" after doing whatever amazing thing he had just done. Peppers clearly has the vision of dominating the game in a unique way with his unique talents, and with all that he and his camp have put forth, it's clear that he doesn't think that can happen here.
So now the market has to do its thing.
Panthers working on keeping Hangartner (link)
From the sounds of things, they’re going to start soon, as the agent for offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner said Thursday he’s going to talk with Panthers general manager Marty Hurney today at the scouting combine about a new deal.
Even though the Panthers emerged from the biggest one-day spending spree in franchise history, there still should be enough to bring back the versatile blocker.
“Absolutely I think we can get something done,” agent Eric Metz said of Hangartner returning. “That’s what he wants, and we remain optimistic we can get something done.”
Hangartner would have opportunities at clear-cut starting jobs if he left, and said he’s considering everything. But he’s also been careful to point to the positives of being a sixth-man on a good team as opposed to a starter on a bad one, and puts plenty of weight on the difference.
Consensus is that Peppers will be back (link)
he general consensus at the combine, where virtually the entire league is gathered, is that Julius Peppers is more likely to be back playing for the Panthers next season than he is to be traded as a franchise free agent.
The widely-held thinking in Indy seems to be that no team will be willing to give up what it would take to wrest Peppers away from the Panthers. And there is similar agreement that the Panthers are intent on keeping Peppers and don’t want to trade him.
The bottom line is the leverage of the situation changed dramatically, switching to the Panthers’ favor, on Thursday when Peppers was franchised.
As much as Peppers and agent Carl Carey have voiced Peppers’ desire to move to another team, both have been very careful to be only complimentary in their remarks about the Panthers’ organization and coaching staff. So the notion that they’ve burned bridges is a bit exaggerated. What we’ve witnessed the past five weeks is the business of the NFL playing out in front of our eyes.
Peppers and Carey have done what they felt they had to do, and the Panthers have now done what they felt was best for the organization.
Peppers’ teammates certainly don’t mind that he has donned a business suit since late January and, as Gross said Thursday, they’d welcome him with open arms if he returned.
Could Peppers still be traded? Yes.
But the chances of that happening aren’t as high as you might think.
No movement on Hangartner (same page)
The Panthers aren’t ready to make a move yet to re-sign top reserve lineman Geoff Hangartner, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 27.
Unless the Panthers made a hefty offer, which they may not have the salary cap room to do, Hangartner is expected to test his value in free agency and is likely to get an opportunity to start for another team.
Hangartner enjoys playing with the Panthers, however, and teammates such as Gross are hoping he stays.
Hangartner isn’t one of the top five starters for the Panthers, but is a valued backup at center and guard, repeatedly playing well enough so there was little dropoff when he filled in for the starters.
So...everybody clear? :confused: