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Julius Peppers announces his retirement after 17 seasons

Julius Peppers announces his retirement after 17 seasons

Amazing defensive end Julius Peppers has retired after 17 seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, and Green Bay Packers. Peppers broke the news in an article on the Player's Tribune site. 

"As I would love to play perpetually, I realize that I can't. It's gotta end sooner or later," Peppers composed. "That point is currently. Today, I'm resigning." 

"Seventeen years is quite a while to play this amusement," he included. "It's two professions for many individuals. I'm grateful that I have possessed the capacity to play so long and still be sound. I'm not all beat up and pounded. Despite everything I feel better."

Julius Peppers announces his retirement after 17 seasons

Peppers' 159.5 sacks are fourth all-time in NFL history. He had 16 seasons with 5.0 sacks, 11 seasons with 10.0 sacks. Pepper's 11 interceptions are second most ever by a defensive end. The North Carolina alum and Tar Heel state native missed only six games in 17 seasons.

Peppers played at North Carolina from 1998-2001. He led the nation in sacks as a sophomore and became a unanimous first-team All-American as a junior in 2001.  Also that year, Peppers won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player and the Lombardi Award as the best collegiate lineman and the Bill Willis Trophy as the nation's best defensive lineman.

Peppers was selected No. 2 overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft. He was the NFL's defensive rookie of the year in 2002. Peppers played his first eight seasons with the Panthers (2002-09), helped lead them to the 2002 Super Bowl, and became a Pro Bowl Player and First Team All-Pro. 

Peppers left Carolina after the 2009 season and signed with the Chicago Bears. He played in the Windy City for four seasons (2010-2013). Peppers was a Pro Bowl player for three seasons in Chicago and a first-team All-Pro in 2010.

Next was the Green Bay Packers where Peppers played from 2014-2016. Peppers then returned to Carolina and played for the Panthers for two more seasons to close out his career.

"I had a good career, man," Peppers wrote. "The Super Bowl ring eluded me, but I don’t need that to validate me. I would have loved to have helped deliver that to the fans in Carolina, but I’m content with the career that I had."

Peppers played in 266 regular season games and totaled 724 tackles, 159.5 sacks, 175 tackles for a loss, 52 forced fumbles, 21 fumble recoveries, and 11 interceptions.

The Bailey, North Carolina native played in 18 playoff games and notched 49 tackles, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one interception.

"I think if I could go back, I would just tell myself to enjoy everything — the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowls, the time spent with my teammates," Peppers wrote. "It’s like … people are always telling you to live in the moment. I wish I would have done that a little more.

"I’m lucky that I got to play for three incredible fan bases, but my career would not have been possible if it weren’t for so many individuals who have been a part of my life along the way," Peppers added. "At the end of the day, the wins are the wins and the losses are the losses. But the relationships are everything."

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