Julius Peppers Retires From the NFL

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 23: Julius Peppers #90 of the Carolina Panthers takes the field against the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

After 17 seasons and a Hall of Fame career, defensive end Julius Peppers has called it a career. Having spent the last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, this means he will get to retire with the team that drafted him. As noted in the tweet below by Adam Schefter, he finished fourth all-time on the sacks list.  

Julius Peppers Retires from Football After Impressive Career 

With his retirement, Peppers puts an end to an impressive career. Despite being in his late 30’s, he had continued to put up impressive numbers down the stretch. He had 11 sacks in the 2017 season. His numbers did dip a bit in his final season in 2018, though. He had five sacks, which was his fewest since 2007, and 14 solo tackles and 22 combined, both of which were career lows. He did have six pass deflections to boost his stats, though.  

Peppers came into the NFL in 2002, having been a unanimous All-American with North Carolina. He was drafted second overall behind David Carr by the Panthers, and immediately played well with 12 sacks and five forced fumbles in only 12 games. He was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Peppers’ career with the Panthers continued to flourish as he helped them get to a Super Bowl in 2003.  

He stayed with the Panthers until 2010, when he signed with the Chicago Bears and played for them through 2013. He then played with the Green Bay Packers from 2014-2016 before returning to the Panthers for two years before his retirement. Between his 10 seasons with the Panthers, he had 97 sacks, a franchise record.  

Peppers finished his career overall with 159.5 sacks (fourth all time, as previously noted), 715 tackles, 79 pass deflections, 51 forced fumbles (second most in NFL history), and 11 interceptions. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler (2004-2006, 2008-2012, 2015). With such a prestigious career, it probably will not take too long for Peppers to get enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

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