Panthers DT Damione Lewis said Thursday he sees no reason teammate Julius Peppers won't have an incredible season, bouncing back from a career-worst 2.5 sacks. And then, since Peppers is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, it follows that a huge deal is on the line.
"As far as the contract deal, I don’t see why they wouldn’t break their neck to keep him here, regardless what type of season he had last year," Lewis said. "He’s one of the greatest defensive players in the league today and possibly of all time. Why would you not break your neck to keep him here?"
For all the theories about why Peppers dipped, Lewis said he's seen such seasons before, from other great pass-rushers.
"It’s one thing funny about this league," Lewis said. "It’s impossible to have the success he’s had every single year in this league. Sooner or later you’re going to have a bad year. Strahan, White, go down the list. All of them have had a year where they haven’t produced the way they’d like. It’s just the way the game goes.
"It’s impossible to put up the numbers he puts up every year. I think it’s one of those things that just happens. I don’t see any reason he should be worried about it or he should think he can’t get things turned around this year."