Will 49ers make a move for Peppers?

By Brad Wilbricht  |   Tuesday, May 05, 2009  |  Comments( 5 )

San Francisco 49ers
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While the San Francisco 49ers’ 2009 draft looks like a success on paper, their offseason activity might not be over just yet. Recent happenings have linked San Francisco to disgruntled Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, who has expressed his frustrations with his current situation and is looking for a long-term deal with a new team.

Peppers is still a no-show at Panthers camp, further suggesting that the dominant defender wants to be traded. Carolina slapped the franchise tag on the four-time Pro Bowler earlier this offseason and he’d be in line to collect $16.7 million in 2009 if he agrees. However, Peppers refuses to sign the tender and has limited the Panthers’ activity because of the large cap number.

Meanwhile, one thing San Francisco didn’t do in the draft was secure help on the defensive line. Moreover, the 49ers still have plenty of cap room and signing a player such as Peppers could be the splash they need to finally get over the hump.

Peppers went on record stating that he’s interested in moving to the outside linebacker position in the 3-4 scheme. San Francisco currently operates the odd-man front and playing linebacker under one of the all-time greats in Mike Singletary could be a very appealing situation.

San Francisco and the Panthers have already been involved this offseason after the 49ers sent their 2009 second-round pick to Carolina in exchange for a first-rounder next year. The Panthers went on to select defensive end Everette Brown from Florida State, possibly as a replacement for the disgruntled Peppers.

Now, with the 49ers sitting on two first-round picks in 2010, one of those could wind up on the table in order to secure the services of Peppers. Carolina would be hard-pressed not to get back in the first round and receive much-needed cap relief by sending Peppers to the Niners.

If this scenario pans out, San Francisco would be equipped with two capable pass rushers on the perimeter. Along with current defensive end Justin Smith, Peppers would wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Furthermore, the pressure of containing two pass rushers off the edge would free up room inside for Kentwan Balmer and company.

While the discussions are likely in the early stages, it’s certainly an enticing thought for the 49er faithful.
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About Brad Wilbricht

Brad Wilbricht covers numerous sporting events including the NFL, NFL Draft and college football. His analysis is simulcast through several media outlets across the country. Additionally, Brad is a regular guest on a variety of talk radio shows and can be frequently heard on the airwaves. To...
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