Best pass rushers in Green Bay Packers history: 11. Julius Peppers
- Pro Bowl w/Packers (2015)
- 25.0 career quarterback sacks w/Packers
- 10.5 quarterback sacks in 2015
- Packers season leader in sacks (2015)
Julius Peppers is a sure-fire, first ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame six years after he hangs up the spikes. He just spent his 17th NFL season playing for the Carolina Panthers, his 10th with the team that draft him on his second stint in Charlotte. But before heading back to the Queen City, Peppers put together three excellent seasons for the Packers from 2014 to 2016.
Peppers came to Green Bay in a rare free agent signing for then-general manager Ted Thompson in 2014. He had played for the arch rival Chicago Bears the four previous seasons for primarily Lovie Smith from 2010 to 2013. Peppers was already an eight-time Pro Bowler and a three-time First-Team All-Pro with the Panthers and Bears, but wasn’t done just yet cementing his Canton legacy.
He never missed a start in his three years with the Packers, recording 7.0 quarterback sacks and 17 quarterbacks hits in his first season with the team.
2015 would be Peppers’ best season in Green Bay. He made his ninth career trip to the Pro Bowl, as he led the team with 10.5 quarterback sacks at age 35.
Peppers was part of the team that almost ran the table in 2016, recording 7.5 quarterback sacks and 12 quarterback hits in his final season with the Packers. He finished his three-year stint in Green Bay with 25.0 quarterback sacks, 45 quarterback hits and 21 tackles for a loss of yardage. Not bad for a guy in his mid-30s on his third NFL team.
Frankly, Peppers’ numbers with Carolina and Chicago are what punched his certain ticket to Canton before he even arrived in Green Bay in 2014. However, his ability to generate a pass rush while with the Packers, as well as his second stint with the Panthers, have made him a legend among sack artists.
Through 17 NFL seasons, Peppers has 159.5 career quarterback sacks, which is the fourth most in NFL history behind Bruce Smith, Reggie White and Kevin Greene, all Pro Football Hall of Famers.
Add in that Peppers won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2002 and made the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, he truly is one of the very best to ever get after the quarterback. The only knock on him in Packers’ lore is that it was only a three-year stay for him in Green Bay.