(Journal Sentinel) There never was any indication outside linebacker Julius Peppers wouldn’t play out the final year of his three-year contract, only a statement from the Green Bay Packers he would do as he always does and wait before committing. So it came as no surprise Wednesday when he said he definitely would be back. One of 33 current and former NFL players in Detroit to take part in the league’s inaugural NFL Business Academy, Peppers told the Detroit Free Press he had every intention of returning in 2016. It’s the first time Peppers, 36, has said definitively that he’ll be back for a 15th season, but last week at the NFL scouting combine, coach Mike McCarthy made it seem like it was a foregone conclusion. Peppers said he didn’t think his answer at the end of the year should have led anybody to believe he was going to retire. He said he gave the kind of answer every player has to make on a yearly basis.

I’m not too sure why everyone was on the fence about Peppers returning next season.  I suppose media just takes things and runs with them when someone needs space after a heartbreaking loss.  Sure, the man is 36 years old, but Peppers led our defense in sacks and had two forced fumbles last year.  Dude has always been considered a freak and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if he gets another contract after next season.  If you really think about it, a lot of his tackles are on the softest position in the game, or on a RB before he’s picked up a lot of momentum.  I think if he really wanted too, Peppers could play two more years at least.

Renegotiating his contract is an option, but we don’t want him to jump ship.  A $10M cap hit for a veteran, high caliber, pass rusher isn’t even that bad.  We’ll still have around $19M of cap left after resigning Crosby, plenty of cash for us to resign who we need and even sign an outsider.  So let the man get his money!  He’s only one of the greatest pass rushers of all time and a guaranteed Hall of Famer.  In the meantime, the cash will motivate him to get that ring he’s been coveting for so long, and show him that he made the right decision coming to Titletown for the twilight of his career. It’s a good thing for both sides.