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Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Quarterback's Worst Nightmare

There will be a reunion this Sunday when Julius Peppers and the Green Packers meet the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field. Julius Peppers or “The Freak of Nature” left the Carolina Panthers in the 2010 NFL season because he was being ignored about his contract.

Why did Julius Peppers leave the Carolina Panthers?

Julius Peppers said, “How can you say you want to be somewhere when you’re not really sure if they want you there because they’re not even talking to you?” There was a lot of confusion during the 2007 NFL season because he only had 2.5 sacks that season, and the Panthers ignored his contract talk in the offseason. The next season he recorded 14.5 sacks and the Panthers wanted to talk. By then it was too late and Peppers wanted out of Carolina. The 2009 season came around and the Panthers put the franchise tag on Julius for $16.683 million. The hiring of defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac destroyed any hope of Peppers returning to the Carolina Panthers. Julius said, “In my eyes I didn't see us getting any better on that side of the ball.” In 2010 Peppers left for the Chicago Bears.

Did the Carolina Panthers draft anyone in 2010 to fill the void?

In 2010 the Carolina Panthers drafted Greg Hardy in the 6th round and it wasn't until the 2012 season that he finally came out of his shell. He recorded 11 sacks that year and turned into “The Kraken.” The following year he had 15.0 sacks and once again the Panthers put a franchise tag for $13.116 million on their star defensive end. I thought the front office learned their lesson?

Who is better Greg Hardy or Julius Peppers?

Julius Peppers is 6, “7”, 287 lbs and recorded 40.5 sacks during his first four NFL seasons. Julius Peppers came storming out of the gate and is one of the best athletes in the NFL. Brian Urlacher is one of the best linebackers to ever play the game and he agrees with me. In 2010 he said, "I'll say this about Peppers, he's the best football player I've ever seen. He's 300 pounds. He does things DBs are doing. I don't know how we got him, but I'm glad we did.” Julius is quick like a defensive back, elusive like a running back and big like an offensive lineman. If I was protecting the quarterback I would run the other way.

Greg Hardy is 6’ “4”, 275 lbs and recorded 33 sacks during his first four seasons in the NFL. Hardy is not as big as Peppers but still as elusive. He has good athletic abilities and natural strength. Hardy uses his alter ego “The Kraken” to fuel his fire and get to the quarterback.

When an NFL scout is looking for that next best defensive end in the NFL, they are comparing them to Julius Peppers. Peppers is bigger, stronger and has better hands than Hardy. Having Julius Peppers on your NFL roster is a great accomplishment. If the Panthers were able to sign Peppers in the offseason they wouldn't have to worry about Hardy’s issues.

If the Carolina Panthers don’t resign Hardy due to his recent case, would you consider this the Julius Peppers curse?

Justin Raymond

Follow me on Twitter @JayRay19

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