The Green Bay Packers snatched up Julius Peppers, the defensive end formerly of the rival Chicago Bears. The signing helps beef up a defense that was lacking production last year, and could prove to be the missing piece that helps catapult the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl.
While the announcement hasn’t been made official yet, according to the USA Today:
“The veteran pass rusher agreed to terms Saturday on a three-year deal with the Green Bay Packers, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced details. The veteran pass rusher agreed to terms Saturday on a three-year deal with the Green Bay Packers, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced details.”
As previously mentioned, the Green Bay Packers have not officially released word on the signing. But Peppers’ agent Carl Carey took to Twitter to announce the signing of Julius with the Green Bay Packers anyway, and posted pics of his client walking along the storied Lambeau Field:
Julius Peppers is officially a Packer! pic.twitter.com/gheY8Yc5bD
— Carl Carey, PhD (@CarlCareyPhD) March 15, 2014
The Packers have been busy this off-season, solidifying holes in their defense. Packers GM Ted Thompson has a history of not overreaching for free agents in the past, with only three big time signings under his belt. According to ESPN.com:
“Peppers is just the third unrestricted free agent signed by Packers general manager Ted Thompson since 2009, and the first major move since he signed Charles Woodson in 2006. The club’s other two free-agent splash signings since 2009 were center Jeff Saturday, who played only one season, and defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who did not make the team.”
Julius Peppers, meanwhile, is still a dangerous defensive weapon despite his age. He accumulated 30.5 sacks over the past three seasons (7.5 last year) with the rival Chicago Bears. Despite the fact that Peppers started in every game for the bears and racked up a whopping total of 37.5 sacks in addition to making the Pro Bowl in three out of four seasons, he became a cap casualty anyway and was released. The 34-year old drew interest from several teams including the Dallas Cowboys, as per Pepper’s agent on Twitter:
Report: Cowboys have interest in DE Julius Peppers.
— Cowboys Nation (@DallasCowboysTN) March 14, 2014
All in all, the Green Bay Packers have significantly upgraded their defensive line by signing Julius Peppers.