Peppers deflects any Patriot talk

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At the outset of the 2009 offseason, rumors ran rampant that the Patriots were gearing up to make a run at Julius Peppers.

So I approached him to talk about it after today’s game. He wasn’t enthused.

“I don’t know anything about that, man,” he said. “I don’t know where that came from. I don’t know anything about that.”

As we went over last week, for the Panthers to franchise Peppers again they’d have to tender him an offer of more than $20 million, meaning there’s a good chance he’ll hit the free agent market. And if he does, the pass rush-needy Patriots would seem to be a prime suitor.

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“Right now, I’m worried about Minnesota,” Peppers said. “Anything else is really useless to think about or talk about, fantasize, dream about it. It doesn’t make sense now, because I’m here to prepare for the Minnesota Vikings.”

Taking one last stab at it, I asked for his general thoughts on the Patriots … “In general, it’s just like every other team. It’s a job. It’s an opportunity.”

In other words, stay tuned.

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