Just as the 49ers are getting a load of the all the new toys they acquired in this year's draft, Matt Barrows' Sacramento Bee 49ers blog tantalizes us with an even more exciting potential addition -- the possibility of trading for Carolina Panthers pass rushing freak Julius Peppers.
Now, Peppers is not on the trading block in any way, and Carolina surely hopes to retain him. But they're not sure if they can.
Peppers has demanded a trade. He's flat out said he's unwilling to return to the Panthers and indicated he might sit out the 2009 season if not traded. And the Gaston Gazette in North Carolina reports that Peppers will refuse to show up for this weekend's Panthers minicamp. Peppers has officially become a headache for the Carolina Panthers.
This trade makes more sense than taking a hundred $1 bills into a strip club. Peppers' main beef isn't money, it's the Panthers' defensive scheme. Peppers told the AP on a conference call that he desires to spend the rest of his career with a team that employs the 3-4 defense.
Hey! Guess which scheme the Niners employ? Bingo.
Meanwhile, the Panthers did acquire a potential replacement for Peppers in drafting Florida defensive end Everette Brown 43rd overall. So this move might not dramatically cripple them.
The monkey wrench in our Peppers scheme is significant -- the Panthers have slapped the franchise tag on him. That means signing him would require us to cough up two first-rounders. But there is a little precedent here, as last year the Vikings traded for the Chiefs' franchise player Jared Allen -- as opposed to signing him -- for "just" a first and two third-rounders. There are all kinds of trades Scot McCloughan could concoct here without sacrificing two first rounders, and he's got that extra first round pick to play with in the 2010 draft.
Last season, the 49ers pass rush pressured opposing quarterbacks only about as much as Tom Cable pressures Al Davis. Peppers would add what we need, and he wants to play in this sort of scheme. Julius Peppers appears to be one of the best and easiest ways to immediately spice up this Niner defense.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is unwilling to explain why he has so many $1 bills in his wallet.