2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers happy to have DE Peppers in the fold

    2014-05-01 16:47

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Ted Thompson is happy to have Julius Peppers in the fold.

But the Packers general manager insisted Thursday that landing the eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end from the rival Chicago Bears won't have an effect on what Green Bay does with its nine selections in next week's NFL draft.

In his first public comments since Peppers' surprising signing on March 15, Thompson said he believes the 34-year-old lineman has plenty left in the tank and that he expects him to have an impact on the Packers' up-and-down defense.

''There's no evidence of any decline in his play, in our opinion,'' Thompson said Thursday. ''He still has the same athletic traits that he had coming out (of college). He's had a remarkable history in the NFL in terms of durability. We're looking forward to it. I think he is, too.''

The 6-foot-7, 287-pound Peppers certainly has been durable, playing in 186 of a possible 192 games. He's also been productive, registering the second-most sacks (118.5) in the NFL and forcing the fifth-most fumbles (39) since he entered the league. He leads all NFL defensive linemen with nine interceptions over that span.

But playing 855 snaps for the Bears last season, Peppers managed only 7.5 sacks, the third-lowest total of his 12-year NFL career. The Packers envision him as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense, and their hope is that by playing him fewer snaps, they will not only increase his production but give opposing offenses another pass-rushing threat to worry about opposite four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

Matthews, who missed six games last season with a twice-broken thumb, is expected to be fully healthy for training camp.

''When I view him as a football player, he's an individual you'd like to create targeting problems,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Peppers in March. ''He has the ability to play from the two-point stance, has the ability to play on the move.''

In 10 career games against the Packers with Carolina and Chicago, Peppers has recorded 9.5 sacks, his fourth-highest total against a specific opponent. The Packers finished tied for eighth in the 32-team NFL last season in sacks with 44 despite Matthews' absence.

Their hope is that Peppers, who reported for the first day of the offseason program last week, will have an impact on more than just that one category.

Last season, the Packers finished tied for 24th in scoring defense (26.8 points per game), 25th in yards allowed (372.3), 25th in rushing yards allowed (125.0), 24th in passing yards allowed (247.3) and tied for 20th in takeaways (22).

''It's fun to see Julius. He's a specimen. He looks great,'' Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said last week. ''It'll be fun to get him really into the fold and get him feeling like he's part of the team, encouraging him to be a leader for us. I think he brings a lot to the table -- on the field and in the locker room. I'm just excited about not having to run away from him anymore.''

As hopeful as the Packers are of Peppers' contributions, Thompson insisted that he won't approach the No. 21 overall pick - or any of his other picks - differently with Peppers on board.

''We talked about this before. I might sound like a broken record, but we feel that the draft is a long-term investment,'' said Thompson, whose team's most immediate needs appear to be at safety, linebacker, tight end, offensive line and cornerback. ''We don't get too carried away with what our perceived needs are at the moment. We think that's good business. If you can marry those things up that's fine but if you stretch to try to fill quote unquote need somewhere then you end up messing up a couple of spots, so we try to stick to the best player available.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

Robert GeathersFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals DE Robert Geathers was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Greg LittleFeb 27 01:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Greg Little was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group