Packer’s general manager Ted Thompson addresses the addition of former Beas defensive end Julius Peppers in the offseason:
“Well, 34 is not so old,” Thompson said. “Not for some of us. There’s no evidence of any decline in his play, in our opinion. He still has the same athletic traits that he had coming out. He’s had a remarkable history in the NFL in terms of durability. We’re looking forward to it. I think he is, too.”
Thompson has a point here. I know that multiple members of the media heavily criticized Peppers effort last year but I saw no decline in play and, at times, I thought I saw Peppers play as well as he ever has.
I don’t think the Bears released Peppers because he’s old and I don’t think, even if there’s some truth to it, that they released him because he took some plays off. I think they released him because of his salary. Otherwise, he’d still be a Bear.
When the Packers signed Peppers, my first thought was, “This is trouble”. That hasn’t changed. I think he’s got a chance to be a dominant player this year opposite Clay Matthews and that the Packers are going to be even more of a hand full because of it.