Report: Peppers will be a free agent

If there was any doubt about it, apparently the Carolina Panthers will erase it later today when they announce that they will not apply the franchise tag to defensive end Julius Peppers.

That’s not a surprise at this point. The tag would cost the Panthers $21.4 million for this season, and apparently they’re not interested in a tag-and-trade scenario. The problem with that is Peppers would have to re-do his contract for any team to take him on, and the guaranteed money would have to go well north of $21.4 million for it to make sense for him. There lies the rub.

The deadline for teams to use franchise and transition tags is Thursday at 4 p.m. New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was tagged on Monday and more are expected to follow. Peppers, though, will reach the open market. He will, no doubt, be a sought after commodity, but there is also a feeling of buyer beware at this point. Teams can look at what the Washington Redskins got last season from Albert Haynesworth for their investment. Different players. Same concern.

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