CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After focusing on upgrading the team's overall speed the past few NFL drafts, don't be surprised if the Carolina Panthers look to add bulk up front this year.
Panthers Draft Preview Capsule
16. CAROLINA (7-9)
LAST SEASON: Panthers struggled last season on both sides of ball as defense got old and Cam Newton's shoulder issues limited their downfield passing game. Number of...
Panthers sign free agent Bruce Irvin to 1-year deal
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers have signed unrestricted free agent linebacker/defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year contract.
Financial terms were not immediately available on...
Free Agency-Panthers Capsule
CAROLINA PANTHERS (7-9)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Mike Adams, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, RB Kenjon Barner, RB Travaris Cadet, K Chandler Catanzaro, OT Chris Clark, LB Thomas Davis, WR Devin...
Panthers shake up secondary; part ways with Munnerlyn, Adams
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers' youth movement has made its way to the secondary, where the team has released nickel cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and informed free agent safety Mike Adams he...
Carolina’s Julius Peppers retires after 17 seasons
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina's Julius Peppers has announced his retirement after 17 NFL seasons, nine Pro Bowl appearances and six All-Pro selections.
Peppers spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Panthers, then played four with Chicago, three with Green Bay and his final two seasons back with Carolina. He missed four games in 2002, his rookie season, then played in 254 out of a possible 256 games over the rest of his career.
Peppers, Miller, Davis among 32 NFL Man of Year finalists
NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Peppers, Von Miller and Vernon Davis are among the 32 nominees announced Thursday for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Unlike in the past, when three finalists were selected before a recipient was chosen, one player from every NFL team is a finalist. All will be recognized and participate in NFL functions during Super Bowl week. The Man of the Year will be revealed at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press' individual NFL awards are announced Feb. 2 in Atlanta.
Cam Newton rallies Panthers to 21-17 win over Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers ruined the Philadelphia Eagles' dance party.
Newton tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 1:22 left and the Panthers overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Eagles 21-17 on Sunday.
Julius Peppers sacked Carson Wentz, forcing a fumble on fourth down from the Panthers 14 to seal the victory.
Panthers Preview Capsule
CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-6)
New faces: RB C.J. Anderson, WR Torrey Smith, WR Jarius Wright, WR D.J. Moore, TE Ian Thomas, OL Jeremiah Sirles, DT Dontari Poe, CB Donte Jackson, S Da'Norris Searcy, QB Taylor Heinicke.
Key losses: RB Jonathan Stewart, OG Andrew Norwell, TE Ed Dickson, DE Charles Johnson, DT Star Lotulelei, CB Daryl Worley, S Kurt Coleman, QB Derek Anderson.
Panthers’ Peppers practices, should be ready for season
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers practiced on a limited basis for the first time since re-signing with the team earlier this offseason.
The 38-year-old Peppers underwent surgery on his right shoulder in February and has been rehabbing ever since. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said there's no point in playing the 16-year NFL veteran in the preseason, but expects him to be ready for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Dallas.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Tight end Greg Olsen realizes there's a sense of urgency to win a Super Bowl ring now for a returning core group of Carolina Panthers who are fast approaching the end of their NFL careers.
Julius Peppers is 38 years old. Mike Adams is 37. Thomas Davis is 35. Ryan Kalil is 33, and has already said this year will be his last. The roster includes 19 players that are 29 or older, including Cam Newton.
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Defensive end Julius Peppers is coming back to the Carolina Panthers.
The future Hall-of-Famer has signed a one-year deal worth $5 million, including $2.5 million guaranteed, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.
Peppers, 38, will play his 17th NFL season in 2018.
Julius Peppers is returning to the Carolina Panthers for at least one more year, and it could be the end of an era for some of the franchise's most familiar faces.
Peppers, 38, has re-signed with the team on a one-year deal, and it could be his final season in the NFL. Already, Panthers teammates Thomas Davis and Ryan Kalil have said that 2018 will be their final seasons. The team also has bid goodbye to old friends Jonathan Stewart and Charles Johnson.
Panthers re-sign Peppers; complete the trade for Smith
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Julius Peppers isn't done playing football just yet.
The 38-year-old free agent re-signed with the Panthers on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year contract.
The deal is for $5 million, with $2.5 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team does not release financial terms of contracts.
Carolina Panthers free agency capsule
CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Gs Andrew Norwell and Amini Silatolu; DEs Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson; DT Star Lotulelei; QB Derek Anderson; TE Ed Dickson, Ss Jairus Byrd and Kurt Coleman; CB Teddy Williams; LB Andrew Gachkar; WR Brenton Bersin; RB Jonathan Stewart.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Scott Simonson; G David Yankey; WR Kaelin Clay; CB LaDarius Gunter.
Panthers hoping playoff experience pays off in postseason
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — When it comes to the playoffs, the Carolina Panthers have been there, done that.
The Panthers are unquestionably the most battle-tested team in the NFC playoffs with a roster consisting of players who have participated in 187 career postseason games. That's quite a few more than the Atlanta Falcons (143), and more than double that of Carolina's first-round opponent, the New Orleans Saints (90).
Packers: For Clay Matthews, uncertain future is ‘not something you dwell on’
GREEN BAY — Clay Matthews has seen it happen. A pass rusher doesn’t have the sack numbers to match his contract numbers – never mind the fact that sacks aren’t the best way to measure productivity – and the next thing you know, he’s off to another team and starting over.
Playoff-bound Panthers riding high behind opportunistic ‘D’
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers defense appears to be peaking at the right time.
Carolina clinched a postseason berth on Sunday with a 22-19 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in large part behind the play of its defense, which has 15 sacks and 10 takeaways in its last three games.
Packers: Same ol’ Aaron? Rodgers insists he won’t alter his playing style in return from broken collarbone
GREEN BAY — Aaron Rodgers says he will be — to use his former teammate Julius Peppers’ succinct description from earlier in the week — the “same ol’ Aaron.” The Green Bay Packers quarterback vows he won’t alter his style of play in his first game back from a broken collarbone.
But he may ask ol’ Pep for one favor: not to hit him too hard.
Packers: Julius Peppers making plays in Carolina -- just like he did in Green Bay
GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy sounded very much like a man who wished Julius Peppers was still playing for his team Sunday instead of against it.
The Green Bay Packers coach waxed nostalgic on Thursday morning about Peppers, a likely Pro Football Hall of Fame pass-rusher who spent three seasons (2014-16) with the Packers before the club chose not to re-sign him as a free agent.
NFL suspends Panthers DE Johnson 4 games under drug policy
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers will be without starting defensive end Charles Johnson for this Sunday's pivotal NFC showdown with the New Orleans Saints.
Johnson, an 11-year veteran, has been suspended without pay for the team's next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. The NFL announced the suspension Friday.
Johnson's suspension begins immediately. He's eligible to return to the Panthers' active roster on Dec. 25.
McCown and Peppers meet as part of dwindling NFL club
Josh McCown and Julius Peppers will greet each other on the field at some point Sunday before their teams square off, knowing they're part of an exclusive — and dwindling — NFL club.
The New York Jets quarterback and Carolina Panthers defensive end are two of only three active players who were selected in the 2002 NFL draft. And, until Detroit signed defensive end Dwight Freeney on Wednesday, McCown and Peppers were the only two this week.
Panthers No. 1 defense not content, wants more takeaways
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Julius Peppers said prior to the season he felt like the Carolina Panthers had the potential to be the NFL's No. 1 defense.
Now that they've reached that pinnacle, the Panthers want more.
Carolina's veteran-laden defense is allowing a league-best 274.1 yards per game, but players and coaches alike say there is plenty of room for improvement — most notably, they want to create more turnovers.
Newton, Carolina defense lead Panthers past Buccaneers 17-3
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — One day, Julius Peppers plans to sit down and reflect on his career as one of the NFL's premier pass rushers.
Right now, he's too busy helping the Carolina Panthers re-establish themselves as one of the league's top defenses.
The Panthers (5-3) shut down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-3 Sunday, sacking Jameis Winston three times, forcing three turnovers and not allowing a touchdown on defense for the second straight week.
Panthers look to fill void left by injured LB Luke Kuechly
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers are faced with the difficult task of replacing three-time All-Pro Luke Kuechly for the third time in three seasons, the
Only this time they don't have A.J. Klein to fill in at middle linebacker.
School districts could see students join national anthem protests
As protests by athletes during the national anthem grow in size and scope, local school districts could see student-athletes participating at high school athletic events in the coming days and weeks.
Peppers, Panthers’ defense stymies Bills 9-3
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Julius Peppers has played 17 seasons in the NFL for pretty good defensive teams.
But he said none compares to this year's Carolina Panthers.
"This is the best one I have ever played on," Peppers said emphatically Sunday.
Carolina's defense allowed only three points for the second straight week, and Graham Gano converted three field goals as the Panthers held on to defeat the Buffalo Bills 9-3 to remain unbeaten.
Peppers shrugs off upcoming milestone, says he wants to win
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Julius Peppers is on the verge of joining some elite company — although the 37-year-old defensive end seemingly couldn't care less.
Peppers picked up a half-sack in his first game back with the Panthers last Sunday and now has 144 for his career, inching closer to joining Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene and Chris Doleman as the only players in NFL history with 150 career sacks.
Panthers dominant defense sets tone for 23-3 win over 49ers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Wes Horton set the tone when he burst past Zane Beadles and forced a fumble on a sack of Brian Hoyer that led to Carolina's first score.
Panthers hope 37-year-old Peppers gives boost off bench
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers aren't exactly sure what they'll get from 37-year-old defensive end Julius Peppers this season.
But teammate Charles Johnson has a pretty good inkling.
"I expect Pep to be Pep," Johnson said with a smile. "I expect him to be the person he's always been."
Peppers is Carolina's career sack leader despite splitting the past seven seasons between the Bears and Packers. He left Carolina over a highly-publicized contract dispute in 2009.
Panthers Preview Capsule
CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-10)
New faces: DE Julius Peppers, CB Captain Munnerlyn, S Mike Adams, LT Matt Kalil, RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Russell Shepard, WR Curtis Samuel, LT Matt Kalil.
Key losses: FB Mike Tolbert, LT Michael Oher, RT Mike Remmers, WR Ted Ginn Jr., WR Philly Brown, LB A.J. Klein, S Tre Boston, DE Kony Ealy.
Packers looking for depth behind Matthews, Perry at OLB
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, the Green Bay Packers feel great about their starting outside linebackers.
The depth hasn't quite developed, though, which is why the team hosted free agent Ahmad Brooks on Tuesday. Brooks, a two-time second-team All-Pro, was released by the San Francisco 49ers last week.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Panthers coach Ron Rivera endured a rough season in 2016 after being forced to start two rookies at cornerback following the release of Josh Norman and the retirement of Charles Tillman.
This year he's looking forward to having James Bradberry and Daryl Worley in the starting lineup.
Carolina Panthers training camp capsule
CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-10)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis scanned the players walking off the practice field on Wednesday and joked, "It feels good not to be the old guy around here anymore."
The 34-year-old Davis was the oldest player on Carolina's defense a year ago, but now he's just one of many 30-somethings.
The Panthers loaded up in free agency on older veterans, banking on an experienced defense leading them to their first Super Bowl title.
Tom Oates: Plenty of leadership roles open for Packers after free agency exits
GREEN BAY — Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but the turnstile spun at an unusually high rate for the Green Bay Packers during the offseason.
“We lost a lot (from) last year,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Tuesday. “You look at our captains’ photo, three of those six guys are gone.”
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have signed free agent tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, adding depth to a defensive front depleted in the offseason.
General manager Ted Thompson did not disclose terms of the deal announced on Friday.
Hub Arkush: No one shames themselves and their organization like Daniel Snyder and Bruce Allen in Washington
If the first day of NFL Free Agency 2017 felt like the Daytona 500 with cars spinning all over the track at times, day two has been more of a road rally with some oldies but goodies both coming home to roost and electing to choose fresh starts in new environments as they enter their golden years.
But before we talk about players like Julius Peppers, Mike Adams, Lawrence Timmons, Andrew Whitworth and others, we must consider for a moment the disgrace that is the NFL’s Washington franchise.
AP Source: Busy Panthers bring back Peppers, Munnerlyn
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After eight years, Julius Peppers is returning home to play for the Carolina Panthers — and he'll be joined by a few other free agents, too.
The Panthers agreed to terms on a contract Friday with Peppers, said to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the move hasn't officially been announced.
The length and financial terms of the deal were not immediately known.
GREEN BAY — Julius Peppers plans to play a 16th NFL season in 2017. The question now is whether he’ll play it with the Green Bay Packers.
Peppers’ agent, Carl Carey, told ESPN on Monday his 37-year-old client — coming off a regular season in which Peppers had 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery — wants to play another season after spending the past three years with the Packers.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charles Johnson is returning for a 12th season with the Carolina Panthers. He'd like to see his old buddy Julius Peppers back in Carolina, too.
Carolina announced the 33-year-old Johnson signed a two-year extension. The deal is worth $9.5 million, according to a person familiar with the negogiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team does not announce financial terms.
Packers: Eddie Lacy, T.J. Lang appear headed for free agency despite contact with team officials
GREEN BAY — Both Pro Bowl guard T.J. Lang and running back Eddie Lacy have heard from the Green Bay Packers about returning to the team this offseason, but no deals are imminent and both players appear headed for the open market when free agency begins next week.
Harrison, Peppers give surging teams ageless presence
The oldest defensive starter in the NFL is also among its earliest risers.
While his younger teammates spend their Monday mornings recovering from whatever bumps and bruises that might have piled up during Sunday's game, James Harrison wakes up before dawn and heads down to the Pittsburgh Steelers training facility.
Tom Oates: Grading the Packers’ play in a 30-27 win over the Bears
Ty Montgomery looks more like a running back every week. He made some instinctive cuts en route to 162 yards rushing. Aaron Rodgers moved well on the first series, not so well after that. Davante Adams dropped two passes in the end zone. Jordy Nelson dropped a deep ball but more than redeemed himself at the end.
Ware, Yanda, Peppers among 8 sportsmanship finalists
NEW YORK (AP) — Eight veteran players, including frequent All-Pros DeMarcus Ware, Marshal Yanda and Julius Peppers, are finalists for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
Other finalists announced by the NFL on Monday are Greg Olsen, Joe Staley, Darren Sproles, Brian Cushing and Frank Gore.
The award recognizes players who best demonstrate the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
Packers’ Julius Peppers sees sacks spike, gets practice rest
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Julius Peppers doesn't like to take breaks.
He has missed just two practices in his three seasons with the Packers. One was late last year, and the other came Wednesday. Both were just days off for rest.
Coach Mike McCarthy plans to give Peppers a midweek practice break the rest of the season, his 15th in the league. Peppers is still productive, with a sack in three straight games going into the Packers' critical contest Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Packers: Unsure of future, Julius Peppers suddenly a force again on defense
GREEN BAY — Julius Peppers doesn’t know what will come next. Perhaps, another NFL season — with the Green Bay Packers or elsewhere. Perhaps retirement, and a return to his adopted home of South Florida, where he can find another calling and wait for a call from the Pro Football Hall of Fame that seems likely to come.
GREEN BAY — Julius Peppers is still optimistic about the Green Bay Packers defense. Even though the group hasn’t given him much reason to be lately.
“Because that’s just how I am,” the 15-year NFL veteran replied this week when asked what gives him optimism in the wake of three consecutive losses — including Sunday’s 47-25 loss at Tennessee — in which their opponents have scored at least 30 points.
In unusual spot at 4-4, Packers face pivotal road stretch
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Mike Daniels' angry voice could be heard from a far-off corner of the Packers locker room in the bitter minutes following a disheartening loss to Indianapolis.
A .500 record doesn't cut it in Green Bay, not for a team with perennial Super Bowl aspirations.
On Monday, after the Packers (4-4) dissected their 31-26 defeat to the Colts, Daniels spoke with intensity that matched his no holds barred-style of play.