Update: The Gaston Gazette's Steve Reed reports that for the second straight year Carolina Panthers DE Julius Peppers walked out of Bank of America Stadium the day after the season uncertain if he’ll be back with the team. His contract with the Panthers is up and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent on March 5. Peppers said he hasn’t decided if he wants to play for the Panthers again, but said several times he expects to make a decision within the “next couple of days.”
Fantasy Impact: Peppers was the NFL's highest paid player in 2009 earning $16.7 million as the team's designated franchise player. He has anchored the Panthers defense for eight solid seasons, but the Panthers can no longer afford to pay him what he wants. The Charlotte Observer printed an article on Saturday entitled 'Say good-bye to Peppers, who wants highest pay.' It would be a huge loss for the defense. However, with almost $17 million saved, the organization would have the ability to go out and acquire two of three solid free agents.