NFL.com’s Vic Carucci says the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots are hammering out a deal that would send DE Julius Peppers to New England in return for the 34th pick in the draft, which the Patriots got from the Chiefs in the Matt Cassel trade.
Carolina is willing to move Peppers (who currently wears the franchise tag) at such a “bargain” price because it would be cheaper than signing a first-round pick, Carucci says. He adds that if the deal is completed, it would satisfy the first two phases of New England’s offseason plans. The third phase is getting hold of USC LB Rey Maualuga in the draft.
With Cassel going for a second and Peppers going for a second, chances of getting anything better than a second (if even that) in any potential trade for Chad Johnson just dropped even further.
Added: In other trade-oriented news, Geoff Hobson weighs in on reports that the Bengals are looking to trade LT Levi Jones. “There are frustrations on both sides. Hate to see it,” he writes. “When healthy, he’s everything you want in a left tackle, including a chippy, take-no-guff demeanor you have to have.”
For what it’s worth, I agree. Whatever happened in the past, I would welcome a healthy Levi back. But that doesn’t seem to be the road we’re on. “[A]ccording to Biggs, people in the league are telling him the Bengals’ asking price isn’t all that high,” Geoff notes. Like any potential Chad trade, this looks like another scenario that will play out on or around draft day next month.