Packers Sign Julius Peppers
On the surface, this signing doesn’t make much sense. Peppers has spent his career as a 4-3 defensive end, but the Packers run a 3-4 defense. He certainly has the size to play defensive end in this scheme, but he’s also one of the league’s most athletic defensive linemen, even at 34 years old.
Peppers was ambiguous about his new role in his press conference, saying only that it’s going to be “something different.” Whatever that may be will ultimately put Peppers in a position he’s never played. Despite his abilities as a player, it’s tough to have much confidence in his transition to either a two-point outside linebacker or a 5-technique defensive end.
In 12 seasons as a pro, Peppers has posted double-digit sacks eight times, while forcing 39 fumbles, blocking 13 kicks, and recording nine interceptions. Peppers was generally ineffective as a pass rusher for most of last season, but he did manage to convert seven of his 40 QB pressures for sacks.
While his role isn’t fleshed out at this point, it’s reasonable to assume that he’ll be used as an outside linebacker. With his skills declining and a linebacker designation likely, Peppers appears destined to be off the fantasy radar in 2014.
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Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.