Lending more credence to the idea that the Patriots are in the process of trying to work out a deal for Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, as first reported yesterday by Vic Carucci of NFL.com, a source close to Peppers confirmed that the Patriots are on his very short list of teams that he would consent to a trade to.
This is not exactly surprising in light of what's been reported and Peppers's own comments last month that he wants to move to playing linebacker in a 3-4 defense. But it is important because the bottom line is that a player like Peppers, who has had the franchise tag slapped on him at $16.68 million, isn't going anywhere in a trade unless he wants to, and no team is going to acquire a player with that high a cap number that doesn't want to do a long-term deal.
When coupled with the fact that a league source told the Globe that the Patriots are interested in Peppers and looking into him, it seems like Peppers and the Patriots are a match if a suitable compensation arrangement can be reached with Carolina.
It would seem like it would take more than the second-round pick (No. 34 overall pick) that the Patriots got from Kansas City for Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel to acquire a player of Peppers's caliber. However, if New England is Peppers's preferred destination Carolina's bargaining position might be weakened.