Panthers, Peppers cool with $16.7 million contract
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Julius Peppers' stalemate with the Carolina Panthers is over, leaving the defensive end rich and the NFC South champions free from worrying about a holdout.
Peppers signed his one-year, $16.7 million tender yesterday, five months after the four-time Pro Bowl selection first announced he wanted to play elsewhere next season. It means Peppers, Carolina's all-time sacks leader, should be present for the start of training camp.
"Recently, I've had positive and productive discussions with the organization," Peppers said in a statement released by his agent, Carl Carey. "I am optimistic and focused as I look forward to the upcoming NFL season."
Shortly after the Panthers were eliminated in the playoffs in January, Peppers said he was "maxed out" in Carolina and wanted to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
He insisted he would never sign a long-term contract with the Panthers and pleaded for them to not place the restrictive franchise tag on him. The Panthers did it anyway. It meant the Panthers had to give him a contract that would pay him more than $1 million a game, but another team couldn't sign him unless it gave Carolina two first-round draft picks.
Peppers refused to sign the tender or attend offseason minicamps and optional workouts. While Carey said they received some interest from other teams, no deal was struck.
Peppers, who had been working out in Arizona, decided to sign with Carolina when he realized he had few other options.
"Julius is more than satisfied with the outcome and is looking forward instead of backward," Carey said. "He is motivated. He's prepared and ready to play football."
On top of the $16.7 million in guaranteed money, Peppers could earn another $1.5 million if he makes the Pro Bowl and $250,000 for each playoff win.
Giants: Linebacker Michael Boley, who signed a five-year, $25 million contract with New York as a free agent, had hip surgery yesterday and almost certainly will miss the start of training camp.
Boley had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum. The former Atlanta Falcon hurt his hip during the Giants' offseason program. A full recovery is expected in approximately 8-10 weeks, the team said. Training camp opens in August.
A fifth-round draft choice of the Falcons in 2005, Boley started 53 of 64 games with Atlanta. He had 365 tackles (260 solo), six sacks, five interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 28 passes defended.
Packers: Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings has a three-year, $27 million contract extension and he didn't have to boycott the offseason program or training camp to get it.
"We didn't feel like there was any need for me to sit out and choose not to participate. That was not the route I wanted to go," Jennings said yesterday after the team formally announced the deal and wrapped up its three-day mandatory minicamp.
Jennings reportedly received $16 million in guaranteed money on the deal, which adds three years to his contract. Jennings was set to receive a $535,000 base salary in 2009, the final year of the deal he signed as a second-round pick from Western Michigan in 2006.