The Carolina Panthers said he does not want to have a long-term contract with the team, and the reason he gave was that the Panthers have ignored the five-time Pro Bowl defensive end this offseason, changing Peppers’ stance on whether to stay in Carolina.
“Last year, at the time, that was the option that I wanted most,” Peppers said. “Now it’s not.”
His agent Carl Carey said last week he believes the Panthers aren’t interested in retaining Peppers although he has been Panthers’ career sacks leader. Carey believes so because team officials haven’t announced their plans for the impending free agent. But it was Peppers who firstly rejected Panthers’ offer of a contract that could make Peppers the highest-paid defensive player in NFL jerseys after Peppers had a career-low 2 1/2 sacks in 2007. Peppers also announced he wanted to play elsewhere following 2008 season.
Peppers said Tuesday that he wanted out because he was upset with the team’s direction under then-defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac, who left the team along with defensive line coach Sal Sunseri before the Panthers placed the restrictive franchise tag on Peppers. But Peppers still said that the team had no intension to keep him.