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Evaluating the Julius Peppers Signing

by Jerry Bader

As the top defensive lineman dropped like flies, it appeared Ted Thompson was going to keep his wallet closed again as the top players in a critical need area for the Packers found new homes with other teams in free agency.Nope. The Packers snatched up Julius Peppers, most recently of NFC North rival Chicago. I generally like this signing, but unlike some of the other top tier lineman, Peppers is a bit of a wildcard.

No, he hasn't always given his best effort and yes, he's 34. The Bears defense was actually far worse than the Packers D so you wonder how much is left of Peppers' "impact player" status. While not an excuse, being on a rotten defense may have created a lack of motivation for Peppers.. On the upside he likely will flourish in a 3-4; he's built for it. I think the Packers could still use one more acquistion at this position and two in the devensive backfield.

We'll see if Peppers has enough left in the tank to still be an impact player. If he does, Clay Matthews should be all the more effective and a re-signed  B.J. Raji might have a comeback year. It's hard to imagine this not improving the Packers defense.

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