Panthers star Peppers retires after 17 National Football League seasons

Julius Peppers

Evan Siegle

"It's two careers for a lot of people". Even though he never won a Super Bowl ring, he has nothing left to prove to anybody.

"So to Chicago and Green Bay: Thank you for embracing me and allowing me to be a part of your families".

Peppers finishes his career fourth on the NFL's All-Time sack list, behind Bruce Smith, Reggie White and Kevin Greene.

Peppers spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Panthers, then played four with Chicago, three with Green Bay and his final two seasons back with Carolina.

In an emotional video released by the Carolina Panthers and the Players Tribune on Friday morning, veteran defensive end Julius Peppers announced that he will retire after a 17-year National Football League career.

"But as much as I would love to play forever, I know that I can't". Since the Panthers picked him in the first round of the 2002 draft, he's been one of the most dominant defensive ends in the sport. Julius Peppers has something to say.

He brought instant credibility to a Packers locker room that didn't often get the chance to welcome veteran free agents. According to Pro Football Reference, Peppers is the only player they can find with more than 150 sacks and more than 50 forced fumbles. "When he speaks, everyone listens", Panthers owner David Tepper said. "He carries himself with dignity, integrity and class, and will always be a Panther".

"Julius is one of the greatest to ever play the game of football", head coach Ron Rivera said.

Peppers was voted to the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team, and was the only remaining defender from that team still active in 2018.

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