Julius Peppers made history on Sunday, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan to move into fifth on the NFL career sack list with 142 1/2. That milestone forced the decorated pass rusher to discuss his plans for continuing his career past 2016.
"I want to play as long as I can," Peppers said to ESPN's Rob Demovsky on Monday. "If I can play next year, then maybe, but we'll see about that later."
Less than a month away from his 37th birthday, Peppers could understandably call it a career after 2016. In addition to the aforementioned sack mark, he has earned nine Pro Bowl nods and three first-team All-Pro selections as well as inclusion in the NFL All-Decade team for the 2000s. Peppers has also appeared in to conference title games, first with the Chicago Bears in 2010 and again four years later with the Green Bay Packers.
Peppers is playing out the final season of the three-year, $26 million contract he signed with the Green Bay Packers back in the 2014 offseason. He would likely need to accept a smaller salary next year if he wishes to extend his career. Though Peppers remains unsure about his post-2016 plans, he does expect the chance to continue playing.
In that scenario, Peppers could field interest from multiple teams, including the Packers. While Green Bay generally favors young up-and-coming players over veterans in decline, they face the prospect of losing multiple pass rushers this offseason, including team sack leader Nick Perry.
Accordingly, even a more limited Peppers could have a role on the defense next season.