NY Jets: Is Julius Peppers a legitimate option?
One of the biggest needs for the NY Jets in the off-season is adding an edge rusher. Going after someone like JP actually makes sense for next season.
According to a buzz report by the NFL staff over at Bleacher Report, Julius Peppers has made it known that he will be returning in 2016 whether that is with the Green Bay Packers or not.
“Coming off a 10.5-sack season, veteran pass-rusher Julius Peppers believes he has plenty of game left and plans to play next season even if the Green Bay Packers release him.”
The front office of the Jets have preached increasing the speed of this team in the off-season on both sides of the ball, specifically at the outside linebacker position, is a priority. Though initially it may appear that getting rid of a guy like Calvin Pace and replacing him with another veteran may not make sense, it does.
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Pace is a guy who is a nice veteran leader that can set the edge in the running game and take advantage of one on one match-ups on occasion.
But let’s be honest, no one fears Pace let alone game plans for him. Peppers is a guy week in and week out you have to know where he is pre-snap or he can cause havoc.
That’s a guy the Jets could use on defense and reportedly the Packers are not going to bring him back. At 36 years old, his best football is clearly behind him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t contribute. I mean he had 10.5 sacks last year and in total has 136 sacks in his illustrious career, ranking 9th all time.
With Lorenzo Mauldin set to take the next step in his development taking one of the outside linebacker starting spots, there remains one more opening and I think Peppers can fill it nicely.
In his 14 seasons in the NFL, Peppers has notched double digit sacks 65% of his career (nine times).
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Also, if fans are worried about a decline in his play when starting more then 10 games he hasn’t gotten lower then 7 sacks ever, his lowest total (2.5 sacks) coming during an injury plagued 2007 season. Plus for what it’s worth reportedly at the Pro Bowl, several contending teams were vying for his services. With the Jets set to take the next step in 2016, it could be a match made in heaven bringing Peppers in for the ride.