As various media sites have begun to analyze this move, it does beg the question as to whether or not Julius Peppers can return to the once dominant pass-rusher he used to be.
Contractually speaking, this was a very smart deal by the organization. The way the money is laid out and guaranteed, it seems as if both the Packers and Peppers agree that he can be much more than he was last year – he just has to prove it.
This deal does hold some resemblance to the out-of-nowhere Charles Woodson signing, organizationally speaking. What have they got to lose? A reasonable amount of money is guaranteed and if the player doesn’t live up to the contract, then they part ways. While the outcome of the Woodson deal spoke for itself, it remains to be seen if the Peppers deal will or not.
The more the fans chew on this deal the more “why not?” feeling prevails. It’s ultimately a low-risk (hopefully) high reward type of signing. Schematically it will be interesting to see just how defensive coordinator Dom Capers utilizes Peppers and his freakish athleticism. Peppers has long sought to be part of a 3-4 defensive unit and after all these years will finally get his chance. Theoretically, he could play with a hand in the ground in the nickel and stand up in other situations.
Let’s also give credit where credit is due as no one saw this coming at all. Usually when bigger name free-agents are even talking to teams, it’s all over the news. There weren’t even any teasers that led anyone to believe Peppers was even considering Green Bay. Kudos to the organization for keeping things on the down low.
Regardless, Packers Nation will be buzzing about this deal all summer long and will be champing at the bit to see Peppers coming off the edge and absolutely annihilating Jay Cutler in the process (sorry, I had to).
Stay tuned …