For several months now, there has been speculation that the Packers could also part ways with veteran OLB Julius Peppers, seeing as he’s set to make $9.5 million for the 2015 season.
However, HC Mike McCarthy shot down this idea, saying that he can’t understand why this keeps coming up.
“I must be the only one who doesn’t understand why that question keeps coming up,” McCarthy said, via Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “…Yeah, I definitely believe Julius Peppers is going to be here. He was very comfortable. He had a great year. He made an impact both on the field and in the locker room. It was unique to get to know Julius Peppers through the process of once he signed as a free agent. I think he looks great in green and gold.”
According to Dougherty, Peppers could have made another $2 million in incentives had he recorded 12 sacks, made the Pro Bowl, been the defensive player of the year, or the Packers won the Super Bowl.
Peppers, 35, signed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Packers in March of last year. He’ll count $12 million against the Packers’ salary cap in 2015.
Releasing Peppers outright would free up $7 million in cap space while creating $5 million in dead money, according to OverTheCap.com.
In 2014, Peppers recorded 43 tackles, seven sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, and 11 pass defenses over the course of 16 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 7 outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.