Now that QB Matt Cassel has been dealt to the Kansas City Chiefs, trade speculation has shifted to another franchised player, Carolina Panthers DE Julius Peppers.
Yet the two situations are as different as the two players.
Peppers has a franchise tender and cannot be traded until he signs it, which means any trade discussions must go through his agent, Carl Carey. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Carolina is prohibited from discussing a deal for Peppers with another team. If the Panthers did, it immediately would bring an NFL Players Association grievance.
Cassel had a signed contract and was trade-able, just like any other player with his contract. Once he signed the franchise tender, he forfeited his rights to broker a deal. It’s why the Patriots were able to trade Cassel to the Chiefs on Saturday morning without the blessing of the quarterback and his representative.
These are minor points but points of clarity. New England was able to trade Cassel. Carolina cannot trade Peppers — not until he has signed his franchise tender, which he has not.
And it’s hard to envision finding a team that would satisfy Peppers’ wishes and the Panthers’ asking price.