Panthers, Julius Peppers closing in on a reunion

An argument could be made that Julius Peppers is the greatest defensive player in the rather short history of the Carolina Panthers’ franchise.

Peppers, the No. 2 overall pick of Carolina back in 2002, recorded 381 tackles and 81 sacks during a successful eight-year stint with the team that came to an end following the 2009 season.

Now, nearly a decade later, and it looks like the nine-time Pro Bowler and his original team could be closing in on a reunion.

“The Panthers have made an offer to their former first-round pick (Peppers) and the two sides are tying to finalize a contract that would allow him to finish his career in Charlotte, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation,” Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer reported on Friday.

Carolina has been in the market for a veteran pass rusher to team up with the recently re-signed Charles Johnson and Mario Addison. Peppers will bring that to the table as a situational player should the two finalize a contract.

It’s also a darn good story for both sides. Peppers left Carolina following the 2009 season, primarily due to a lack of agreement on a long-term deal. He then signed with the Chicago Bears, putting up 37.5 sacks in four seasons, before ultimately spending the past three years in Green Bay.

This past season saw the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer put up 7.5 sacks in limited playing time with the Packers. He’s currently No. 5 on the NFL’s all-time sack list with 143.5, within spitting distance for a top-three spot.