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Peppers on Pats is a bummer for Dolphins

Nervous? A couple of days ago I wrote a column in the Herald basically saying the New England Patriots, which finished behind the Dolphins in the AFC East race last season, had pulled ahead of the Dolphins this offseason.

And think what you will about that opinion, but it would be hard for anyone to argue the Patriots wouldn't be greatly and significantly improved on defense, their team weakness, if someone the caliber of a Julius Peppers were to join them. Yet, NFL.com is reporting the Patriots appear to be on the verge of trading for Peppers.

That report fails to note that Peppers has not signed the exclusive rights franchise tag tender the Panthers hung on him several weeks ago. And the Panthers cannot speak with Patriots about such a deal unless that tender is signed. So The Charlotte Observer is reporting the teams have not talked.

But that doesn't mean Peppers' agent and the Patriots cannot talk. And the NFL.com report indeed suggests trade parameters have been worked out, with New England sending Carolina the No. 34 overall pick in the draft, the second-round pick it got from Kansas City for Matt Cassel, in exchange for Peppers.

If this is true, it has to be a tremendous bummer for everyone in the AFC East not named the cheaters Patriots. 

Look, Vic Carucci, who wrote the story for NFL.com, is an excellent reporter with good contacts. So it is right to believe that where there is smoke, there may be fire. And nowhere have you heard either team deny the story outright. 

So you should consider this a very serious possibility. It is not a certainty. But it is possible.

And what, you should ask as tears roll down your face, would Peppers do for the Patriots?

He would instantly improve their questionable pass rush. Think Jason Taylor with the Dolphins circa 2006. Remember that year? The Dolphins used Taylor as a hybrid linebacker, pass rusher, and tormentor of offenses.

The Patriots would likely do the same with Peppers. I remember Nick Saban practically salavating at the thought of having a Peppers in his defensive scheme. When the Dolphins had the No. 2 overall selection in 2005, Saban told me if Peppers, who was drafted second overall in 2002, were available to him, he'd be, "jumping around celebrating." Those were his words.

It stands to reason Saban mentor Bill Belichick will see the same possibilities with Peppers as his disciple saw.

Like I said before, bummer. 

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Mando why are you so negative? Look at the moves we made. It's obvious that we anticipated this trade 3 weeks in advance, when we signed Joe Berger. I'm not afraid of Peppers! How come no one is reporting how Miami won the Eric Green sweepstakes? could u imagine if you put his 2 career picks on the Pats roster?

I See chad(neck fat) henne after his football career ends joining the circus, where he'll be in the sideshow along with jojo the dog face boy and the bearded lady.
Posted by: cuban menace

Peppers is a pro bowler when he wants to be, but he doesnt always play hard. Two years ago he was just a good, not great player, b/c he wasnt playing with passion. He is also guaranteed 16 million if he signs the franchise tender the Panthers have offered, so he is going to want at least that amount guaranteed from the Pats. I would rather have the 34th pick in the draft than Peppers and think this would be a bad trade for the Pats.

Uh-oh... the Pats are improving day by day it seems, and the Fins are just sitting around counting the days until the draft. No one can argue the Pats are the team to beat in the AFC East, not with a healthy Tom Brady back and their new defensive additions. I hope Parcells and Co. have a few tricks up their sleeves because they're gonna need all of them to repeat as AFC East champs this year.

I'm sure it will happen. The Dolphins will not only have a tough schedule but they'll have to beat the Pat's with Brady and Peppers and the Jet's with Cutler. Peppers for a second would be a steal though. Where are they getting the Cap money?

Armando...you wrote the dolphins were INCHING ahead of the PATRIOTS...My ? to you is if they sign JULIUS PEPPERS are they movig feet ahead of the dolphins or just another inch??(patfan...not pats fan)

We are in serious trouble if the Pats get Peppers. That will also bring back more frustration on our FA approach. Peppers does give our current trio of WRs' added value...Penny will have to get the ball out quick. However, he will make us place a bigger emphasis on our o-line. Meaning #1WR, CB, OL, NT, pass rusher, a very tough schedule, and possibly asking rookies to step in and get the job done...that make me cringe. If they do get Peppers, that puts us way behind them in the race for the AFC East crown next year. Plus, we can not afford to overlook the Jills (I mean Bills)...they have quietly put together a scary WR tandem for our secondary to worry about.

A true pats fan like I am I would rather resign Mankins,Wilfork and seymor....PEPPERS would be great but im not sure they could afford him and the rest...Like we say in new england...In BILL we trust....

Don't let last year fool you, Fins are 2 years away from becoming a team like the pats. Perhaps even longer if Henne needs to take the helm in the second year. We played well last year and sparano got great effort from the team but the other teams in the east ( except maybe Bills) just plain have better players. Add Peppers to the pats and they have gotten even better. The only way for us to beat them out would be for Brady to get injured again.

mando u sound like a little panzie man!! so wat if the patriots get peppers big deal? chances are he'll get injured....are you seriously that scared of the patriots? i mean c'mon brady isnt even 100% and chances are he'll be like daunte culpepper!!! jeeez your always negative man!!!

U people are funny! Who cares what the Pats do! I'd rather have a pro bowl LT than a pro bowl DE who thinks he can play a OLB.

Phins took care of O Line flaws by getting healthy this offseason as well as getting older with experience during their playoff run in 08.

Phins need to get some speed on the edge and get some complimentary players. Signing Matt Jones would be a wise decesion as well!

I think we'll be ok.....max protect and pound the ball between the tackles. Bill Parcells football mean the Tuna will find young FAST d ends and BIG physical o linemen. No need to panic yet.

Kevin, I hope you're being sarcastic. Berger has to earn his stripes to scare anyone. Bodden is more of a proven CB than Green and he came cheaper I believe. Peppers can be a complete terror albeit when he wants to be. However, Belicheat gets max performance out of his players. Grove has to stay healthy. Mando, wasn't being negative...just real. If we are serious about repeating, we BETTER keep pace. I do not want to be in last place this time next year.

I highly doubt that Panthers will trade Peppers for a 2nd rd pick when they probably could get a 1st rd pick for him. I mean think about it Miami got a 2nd rd pick for Taylor. This is a player who many teams wondered how much longer he would be playing, how committed he would be and they knew Taylor was demanding a trade. If Taylor did not have those issues Miami would have gotten a 1st rd pick for him. I also would prefer that Peppers goes to the Pats because that tells Belchick is no longer thinking about the future Pats which also means he is probably thinking about retiring. All the moves they have made this off season was done with players who are on the down side of their career. I am not worried at all about it.

I think the pats are looking to go underfeated this upcoming season to close out a decade of dominance!!!

Biff, we could make the argument the Bills have greater talent as well. However, only their WR tandem causes me concern. Isaac, if Brady wasn't 100% they would have kept Cassel.

Lime99, you should care what the Pats do. We only have to go keep pace and go through them to make the playoffs. Last check, that's what we all want...a repeat. I'd rather be in the super bowl with a Pro Bowl OT than watch it on tv with a Pro Bowl DE (pretending to be a OLB). Plus, don't get confused, Peppers won't be pretending too much...he is a very talented athlete. We better worry what every team in our division does. We only have to beat them to get to the show.

I think the pats are looking to go underfeated this upcoming season to close out a decade of dominance!!!

Lime99, Matt Jones??? are you serious? Do you really think he is a BP guy?? He is not a #1 WR, and he is no better than our current trio. Plus, Jville WRs don't work out well down here in SFLA (remember our FA bust that barely saw the field last year?). That did provide a good laugh though, so thanks!

Steve, I think you may be off-base here. I believe the Pats are going for the build for now and draft for the future approach. I agree with it. If a rookie can't step in and be a productive starter, then ok, no big deal. If they can, then great, you are even better and deeper.

You fail to mention that Julius Peppers has never played in a 3-4 defense...has he ever dropped into coverage? Does he even have the speed to?

Who really knows...the patriots may be wasting thier picks and Peppers might just be a bust in that system. It is as much a possibility as anything else mentioned.

The 'Fins should continue to stick to the long term plan. Last year was a pleasant surprise, but really it is all about 2010 and beyond for this team. Pats are gearing up for one last run...a lot of key players are on the wrong side of 30, Pioli's gone, Belicheck is entering his 10th season, and it's getting harder and harder to replace departing assistants. Brady is coming off his first serious injury and the sense of urgency in N.E. is eerily reminiscient of Miami circa 1994-95 after Marino's first serious injury let everyone know the clock is ticking. N.E. sees this year as their last 'best shot' IMO. Might work, might not....but the 'Fins should just stick to the plan. Henne will be the starter, and fully ready, when this team is ready to win.

I See chad(neck fat) henne after his football career ends joining the circus, where he'll be in the sideshow along with jojo the dog face boy and the bearded lady....and cuban menaces

STEVE...the 34th pick in the draft is the 2nd pick in the 2nd round...Carolina has NO first round pick and they can trade peppers who wants out and gat a cheaper player with the 2nd pick in the 2nd round and lose the 16 million hit with peppers franchise tag(cheaper player i mean why pay first round money when this draft is stacked with dl/lb...)

Paul K, good point. However, I believe he can. Plus, I don't think the Pats will use him for that. He will be used to get after the QB. But on film he does appear to have the speed to keep up (except with the reggie bushes out there). Plus, he is tall 6'7 and has a giant wingspan, he just needs to get in arms length to be effective and knock the ball away. Also, when was the last time we saw belicheat not utilize his players correctly?

It wont happen without a long term deal in place.......to reduce his pay this year.

Hal, true last year was a pleasant surprise. However, I maybe be greedy, but I want to be competitive next year. Do I expect us to when the super bowl next year? of course not. Do I want to be the scrimmage teams play to get ready for the next game? NO. I want to be competitive and make the Pats, Jills, and Jests, earn the win IF they get it. I expect to be super bowl contenders in 2010 and AFC East contenders this year. That's what the 3yr plan means to me. year 1 means become competitive, yr2 become contenders for the division crown, yr3 become contenders for the NFL crown. Is it realistic? probably not, no. But that's what I expect in a 3yr plan. We are headed in the right direction, we are missing a few impact players on both sides of the ball.

Mando,

You should consider sending a resume to the Boston Globe. This way you could actually cover the team you are so fond of.

we should trade wilford and a cond. 7th round pick for cutler , Thought ?

Hey waid-a-minnit dare uh TonyShoes. Youse R gonna be floatin' in da Miami Rivah! Whaddya tawkin aboud? Da Fins ben sittin' on dare hanns? Wud da fudge R youze referrin' tew? Dey gawt at lease 5 or 6 new guys dat wil start diss seasun man! An at on't even mintchun duh 4 or 5 doods day gawt comin' back frum da injuree ting frum lass yere! Sew shud-up-a-yer-fac-eh! Kapeesh? Now B care-full down dare in My-Yam-Me OK? OK!

FRANKLEESCARLET...GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!! What is that ? talking about? I would love some pats vs phins talk. In english....we speak that here in america!

Nathan Barnett. Sir, if you'll get down off the steroids, you'll see that I was merely informing teh other gentleman that I disagreed with his inane comment that Miami had been idle during the Free Agency period. They have actually upgraded nearly every true "need" area on this football team. If "Tony" had had even a small semblance of common sense, he would have recognized his error without needing My humble direction. I apologize for obviously offending a clear genius of a football fan in You Mr. Barnett. I will adhere to strict, no fun, commentary, that will comply with Your high standards and grammatical, and educational levels in the future. Respectfully, a humbled and contrite, FrankLeeScarlett. een eengrish four yew Meesterr Barn-ette!

I see a taylor made disaster just waiting to happen in beantown. For heavens sake they traded Matt Cassels. If Brady goes down this season. Everything comes tumbling down just like a house of cards.

Trading Cassells has left Bellichik wide open for enevitable disaster. Remember that guy Newton? Let me refreash your memories. "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." Pats are positioning themselve to become first runner up, 2009 "paper champions."

Hmm.... I think BP's arrival and 2nd place finish to our Fins. May have caused Bellichick to "panic" and "overplay" his hand. LOL

I always thought that football was played on the field. Just because Peppers is may go to NE is no reason to change the plan. 2010 and beyond.

Peppers is a good ball player and at times a great ball player. I don't think that he fits into the defence in NE. But, Bellicheck has a way of motivating players so he would probably do pretty good.

It isn't the end of the world, just another challenge.

So I was cleaning the house on Saturday, playing music to pass the time, as is my wont. And Lee Greenwood's "Proud To Be An American" came on - one of my favorite songs. (I'm a Canadian, living in the U.S., trying to get my citizenship.) And my wife and stepdaughter started making disparaging remarks about the song - how it was "nerdy" and "country." What they were really saying was "how utterly lower class is this song. The people that we hang out with would never give in to such sentimental hogwash." And a quote came back to me from a Somali immigrant to the U.S., which I think bears repeating:

"It's easy to sneer at freedom when you grow up with it."

During the offseason, the point of most of Armando's articles and the comments on these message boards is, basically, "How do you think the Dolphins are going to do this year?"

This reminds me of a classic Dennis The Menace story in which Henry and Alice Mitchell are entertaining their friend, Steve. Inexplicably, out of the blue, Henry Mitchell asks Steve: "So, Steve, how do you think the Cleveland Indians will do this year?"

And Steve responds, "The Indians? They don't have a chance!"

This, of course, upsets little Dennis, who fancies himself an Indian, and in righteous anger he says to himself, "Injun gettum scalp!" and he takes a swipe at Steve with his play knife. Steve, needless to say, is outraged, and the evening goes downhill from there.

I relate this anecdote apropos of nothing - I just like the political incorrectness of the story. Hank Ketcham could never have written a story like that today (not just because he's dead, but because the censors wouldn't let him get away with it).

Alice Mitchell is a very attractive cartoon character. Nowhere near as sexy as Veronica Lodge - but she's alright.

very good write-up Armando. =)
Thanks!!

Yes Armando. The sky is falling, the sky is falling! If you think the panthers are going to trade Peppers for a second round pick you are out of your mind.

Long & Carey make Peppers none too scary!

I just don't see how the Panthers will take a 2nd round pick for a top notch guy and also how the hell are the Pats going to work out his $17 million salary for this year. No one in the Pats can make more money than Brady..... I don't see it happening.... but if it does its not good news for the Phins.

Sherif, that's a good question, one I've wondered about in the past. So, how is it N.E. seems to always have the cap space to make these moves?

How many Patriots trades do you typically see advertised before they are made? I dont know of any. BB works like a snake in the grass, you never know where he is or what he is doing until he strikes. This Peppers talk is more likely a smoke screen than anything. Nothing happens by chance with the Pats. Why would they advertise their interest in a player who they are about to steal for a 2nd round pick? Why create a market for that player? Perhaps to tempt some idiotic team that has a GM like oh I dont know, Rick Spielman comes to mind, to trade a 1st rounder. Maybe BB caught wind of another team getting close to a deal and jumped in just to muddy the waters, maybe BB was bored and figured he'd screw with Peppers agent, the thing is, the last thing BB does is let everyone know what he is about to do before he does it.

Here's a thought, why not give #25 up for him? Improves our team, increases our chances against pats, stops pats from being such a super bowl lock.

Any of you that think PEPPERS is on the down side of his career IS STUPID.I am a DOLPHIN fan but have watched a lot of CAROLINA games.Peppers is better than any player we have right now.He can control the game,like JT used if this does not worry you do not love football.this would put us in secound placefor years years years to come.COME ON PARCELLS DO SOMETHING AND NOT WITH SECOUND STRINGERS YOU HAVE BROUGHT ON BOARD.

I wish you spent as much time writing about the Dolphins as you do New England.

And if YOU remember Jason Taylor's first year at 3-4 OLB, you'd remember he wasn't nearly as effective as a 4-3 DE… esp in pass coverage.

I'd personally love if the Pats traded the #34 pick for a guy who'd play out of position... and only with a few years left in the tank… not to mention the salary space he'd eat up.

#34 pick would require what? $10 million for the life of his rookie contract… Peppers would require $7, $8 mil, possibly more per year.

For your sake, I hope Bob Ryan retires soon… so you can finally write about the Patriots full-time.

uhh...good thing the games aren't won in the offseason...just ask the jets and redskins...oh, wait, they still haven't figured that out yet either...

Bummer when/if it happens. Too bad you can't draft integrity, the Pats have a glaring hole in that roster spot.

I'll be worried when I see Peppers actually play linebacker at a high level, which is highly unlikely.

Spending that much in picks and cap for a guy who will probably be a situational pass rusher isn't the kind of move that should scare anybody. And it isn't the kind of move anyone should be suggesting we make ourselves.

Armando,

Just heard Adam Shefner on the radio with WEEI here in Boston this morning and he says there is a 99 percent chance that this deal will not get done. Just a nasty rumor.

Peppers is not a proven 3-4 Olb

Who, the Julius Peppers that got 2 sacks in 2007 and the one who did nothing this year in the playoff game against Arizona? Ouuuuu, I'm scared. Pfff, go ahead, add another 30 year old to the Patriots and choke on the salary cap. In two years after the Dolphins have three drafts under Parcells and a a low payroll while the Patriots will be even older we will see who will rule the roost for years.

We are not nearly as talented overall as the Pats. NE can afford to gamble like this because they always seem to acquire additional high draft picks.

With that said, Miami is not in a position to where a few highly touted FA's can get them to the Super Bowl. Nor should we be interested in signing them. You build through the draft if you plan on keeping your players at a reasonable cost in the future. That stragegy will keep the salaries in line and make you stronger across the board. Just takes time people. Thankfully, the days of throwing draft picks around are over for this franchise.

Look at last offseason and the Jets. How did all those high profile signings work out?

fin fans are in state of panic and you ask me why ?every time armando try to increase their IQ about other teams they panic cause he puts them out of their state of denial and back to reality.BTW Nathaniel.D post this morning was very good.

SOULJ,Do you think dolphins next season will win max of 6-8 games or less?

Plop in front of the betting window and you'll find out that the Patriots are 8-1 favorites to win the next Superbowl even without Peppers. The Phish are 35-1, which puts their chances below average.

The Pats are pulling out all the stops to win it all, but they got a hefty bill for that coming due just about when we are ready to elite status. And that bill is going become a lot tougher to pay if they shell out a bunch of long-term cash for Peppers.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -- 2010 UFAs

Kevin Faulk
Sam Aiken
Joey Galloway
Brad Listorti
David Thomas
Benjamin Watson
Stephen Gostkowski
Russ Hochstein
Logan Mankins
Stephen Neal
Nick Kaczur
Ryan O'Callaghan
Jarvis Green
Richard Seymour
Le Kevin Smith
Vince Wilfork
Tully Banta-Cain
Leigh Bodden
Ellis Hobbs

MIAMI DOLPHINS -- 2010 UFAs

Ricky Williams
Anthony Fasano
David Martin
Rodrique Wright
Matt Roth
Will D. Allen


Patsfan... Honestly, this is how I see the AFC East this year...

Pats 12-4
Dolphins 10-6
Bills 8-8
Jets 5-11

But who knows, anything can happen...

2-14 next year fins

PEPPERS to Patriots not a big deal...

The Patriots are loading up with a bunch of over 30+ players, they are getting desperate. Im sure half of these guys will see considerable time on the injury list this season. They know their window is closing in New England, it's inevitable. The Patriots will stink in a couple of years i promise you, it's a cycle, they are getting only getting older, while every move the Dolphins make, wether it's a sexy name or not are only getting younger and faster at every position.
Im not worried at all. We will without a doubt draft a WR and a Corner with 2 of our first 3 picks. A big WR to take pressure of Ginn who, Wether you people want to admit, alot of GM's say is an emerging star for the Dolphins and a Corner to play nickel/returns and challenge Green for the 2 spot like Cromartie did last year for the Cards. Im sure the Patriots will sign Jason Taylor and trade for Cutler too, they think by becoming the Yankees of the NFL that they will win, but they won't, half their team by the end of the season will be on the IR. Not worried at all.

PEPPERS LOST A STEP LAST YEAR..

The Patriots are loading up with a bunch of over 30+ players, they are getting desperate. Im sure half of these guys will see considerable time on the injury list this season. They know their window is closing in New England, it's inevitable. The Patriots will stink in a couple of years i promise you, it's a cycle, they are getting only getting older, while every move the Dolphins make, wether it's a sexy name or not are only getting younger and faster at every position.
Im not worried at all. We will without a doubt draft a WR and a Corner with 2 of our first 3 picks. A big WR to take pressure of Ginn who, Wether you people want to admit, alot of GM's say is an emerging star for the Dolphins and a Corner to play nickel/returns and challenge Green for the 2 spot like Cromartie did last year for the Cards. Im sure the Patriots will sign Jason Taylor and trade for Cutler too, they think by becoming the Yankees of the NFL that they will win, but they won't, half their team by the end of the season will be on the IR. Not worried at all.

PEPPERS LOST A STEP LAST YEAR..

The Patriots are loading up with a bunch of over 30+ players, they are getting desperate. Im sure half of these guys will see considerable time on the injury list this season. They know their window is closing in New England, it's inevitable. The Patriots will stink in a couple of years i promise you, it's a cycle, they are only getting older, while every move the Dolphins make, wether it's a sexy name or not are only getting younger and faster at every position.
Im not worried at all. We will without a doubt draft a WR and a Corner with 2 of our first 3 picks. A big WR to take pressure of Ginn who, Wether you people want to admit, alot of GM's say is an emerging star for the Dolphins and a Corner to play nickel/returns and challenge Green for the 2 spot like Cromartie did last year for the Cards. Im sure the Patriots will sign Jason Taylor and trade for Cutler too, they think by becoming the Yankees of the NFL that they will win, but they won't, half their team by the end of the season will be on the IR. Not worried at all.

SOULJ...LOOKING GOOD but i don't really see fins to top 8 wins due to most teams in nfl are going to be way better next season unless the fins do the right thing and trade for Cutler with what ever it takes .

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