Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers is finally getting his wish to test the open market and find a new home. The five-time Pro Bowler will likely be somewhere other than Carolina next season, taking his 81 career sacks (in eight seasons) to a new team. And there’s a guy up the road in Washington D.C. licking his chops at the chance to pay through the nose for him.
If there’s one thing Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder loves to do it’s spend money. He doles out buckets of cash to free agents like it’s going out of style. Just last year he made defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth the highest-paid defensive lineman in history with a seven-year, $100 million contract. Haynesworth’s deal includes $41 million in guarantees and could reach upwards of $115 million if incentives are met.
At the time of the deal Haynesworth was arguably the most dominating player in the NFL, but was also 28-years old and had clearly reached the peak of his abilities. In his first year with the Redskins he complained about the defensive scheme and his place with the Redskins. Awesome. He also wasn’t selected to the Pro Bowl, only played in 12 games, totaled just 37 tackles and 4.0 sacks. Not saying Haynesworth isn’t a great player, but his first season in D.C. left much to be desired.
When you look at Peppers, he’s 30-years old and is coming off a season where he totaled 12 sacks in 12 games in a contract year. Physically, he’s a freakish athlete at 6’7, 283 pounds, but again, he’s 30. Clearly his best years are likely behind him. He’s the exact kind of guy Snyder would fall in love with and overpay for. And Peppers is looking to get overpaid. Rumors are that he’s seeking a deal worth an average of $18 million a year, with roughly $40 million guaranteed. That’s ridiculous for a guy who notched just seven sacks in 16 games in 2008.
Basically Peppers is looking for a rube to pay him loads of cash, and Snyder is the perfect mark. Expect them to be married in a formal ceremony sometime over the weekend.