[to top of second column]
But the Panthers still placed the franchise tag on Peppers, which allows teams to sign Peppers only if they surrender two first-round picks in return. However, Peppers and his agent could work out a deal for less compensation and take it to the Panthers for approval. A trade could avoid an ugly holdout.
Even though Peppers has not signed the tender, that money counts against Carolina's salary cap, giving it virtually no room to sign other players in free agency.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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