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Peppers Pipe Dream

By Jay Lizotte

So we started with the trade of Matt Cassel. That freed up a whole bunch of money and the rumor immediately came out that the Pats were making a play for Julius Peppers. Then the rumor went away as they proceeded to sign a few free agents. Then Monday night I'm sitting in the bar and the bottom line on ESPN indicated that the Pats were rumored to be making a trade with the Panthers for Peppers.

The rumor was that the Pats would give up the #34 overall pick, the same one they got for Cassel, and in return the Pats would get Peppers. Well, lets break this down realistically. Peppers is the highest paid defensive end in football. His franchise contract is roughly $16 million, or two million more than Brady. Even if the Pats were to somehow bamboozle the Panthers into taking a second round pick for the best defensive end in football, how would they pay him?

The Pats have a free agent class next year that has Wilfork, Seymour, and Mankins. How can you justify paying a fortune for Peppers and still have cap space for these guys? If they can get Peppers to buy into the team first idea, somehow convince him to accept $8 million a year, great. Realistically I don't see him doing that. If the Pats somehow dealt Seymour and brought in Peppers, maybe, but Peppers has already said he wants to be a Terrell Suggs/Willie McGinest hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end in a 3-4 defense.

Time will tell if it happens, but I'm banking on the pipedream at this point.


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