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Julius Peppers: Pursue or No?

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The Jets had difficulty getting to opposing quarterbacks without blitzing in 2009. Adding an elite pass rusher would seem like a priority. How does a five time Pro Bowl defensive end with six double digit sack seasons sound? Julius Peppers is a free agent this year and has indicated he is open to leaving Carolina. The Jets could use former teammate Kris Jenkins to recruit him.

It would be interesting to see where Peppers would fit in Rex Ryan's scheme. Rex has made it clear he builds his scheme around his players. An acquisition like this might mean a move to a 4-3 base with Shaun Ellis, Sione Pouha, Jenkins, and Peppers. That sounds like a championship caliber line on paper. Julius has said he'd like to play in a 3-4 system. Could that work? For some reason, many believe he would move to outside linebacker. Perhaps he could in spots, but it's not clear how good he would be playing in space, working in coverage, and rushing standing up. At 6'7" and 283 pounds, he's has the size to play end in the 3-4. Usually 3-4 ends aren't playmakers, but there are exceptions like Bruce Smith. Could Peppers consistently beat double teams and make a mark as a pass rusher? I don't see why not.

I do not think the Jets will be able to sign him as an unrestricted free agent. I don't see any Jets free agents getting a contract with another team as big as Peppers will command, a necessity for a final eight team. The Panthers would have to franchise and trade him to Gang Green. 

What would the parameters be? I think it would be similar to what the Vikings gave up to land Jared Allen, a player considered by many in Peppers' class. Minnesota gave up a first rounder, a pair of third rounders, and flipped sixth round picks. Since the Jets pick lower than the Panthers this year, flipping sixth round picks is out.  It's definitely costing the Jets their first round selection. Maybe Carolina would take a second instead of two thirds. Either way, we are talking about multiple early picks. Allen got $74 million, $31 million guaranteed. Peppers will probably command something similar.

Would he be worth it? I'm skeptical. I know the numbers are great, but I've heard a lot of analysts say Peppers should dominate even more considering his physical gifts. I've heard the phrase inconsistent motor. I've seen numbers that say he dominates weak competition and struggles against the cream of the crop. Based on what I've seen from him, I tend to agree.

Perhaps Rex Ryan could light a fire under him and turn him into a terror. I don't think it's worth giving up multiple high picks Those could turn into high quality players at a fraction of the price. If Peppers always played up to his potential, it would be worth it. Then again, the Panthers probably would have given him the contract he's looking for.

I vote don't pursue.

How do you vote?

Poll

Should the Jets sell the ranch for Julius Peppers?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Yes
    (258 votes)
  • 54%
    No
    (311 votes)
569 votes total Vote Now