Former Packers linebacker Julius Peppers announces retirement

Green Bay Packers, Julius Peppers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Julius Peppers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Former Green Bay Packers linebacker Julius Peppers has announced his retirement.

Julius Peppers has put together a Hall-of-Fame career, and Packers fans were lucky that a few great seasons were played in Green Bay.

Peppers will be remembered most for his time with the Carolina Panthers, the team that drafted him in the first round of 2002 NFL Draft then brought him back for the final two seasons of his career.

But Peppers also had an impact in Green Bay, both as an opponent and teammate of Aaron Rodgers.

Peppers wrote about his time in Green Bay in an excellent article for The Players’ Tribune. In the post, he wrote that Green Bay “felt like home”.

Peppers added: “I was sad to leave Green Bay, and I don’t think I would have left to go anywhere but home to Carolina.”

Peppers was one of the rare big free agency moves made by Ted Thompson as general manager, and it was a great decision.

He was 34 when he joined the Packers. At that age most pass rushers are well past their prime, but Peppers put up an impressive 25 sacks in three seasons and had a huge impact on the defense. He also forced eight fumbles and had two pick-sixes, both in 2014.

Arguably Peppers’ greatest play as a Packer came against the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round of the 2014 playoffs.

The Cowboys had a 14-10 lead in the third quarter. DeMarco Murray broke free and looked set to run for a 59-yard touchdown that would have put the Packers in real trouble. But Peppers was there just in time to punch the ball out of Murray’s hands. Packers ball.

It was a key moment that led to Green Bay’s comeback and put them a game away from the Super Bowl.

Peppers never won a Super Bowl, but few players deserved one more than him. Peppers finishes his 17-year career with six All-Pro selections and nine Pro Bowl appearances. He was also named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.

His career total of 159.5 sacks ranks fourth all-time in the NFL.

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Soon, Peppers will be add the Pro Football Hall of Fame to his list of accomplishments.

Thank you, Julius Peppers.