Julius Peppers will play in 2018.
The Panthers announced Wednesday the defensive end will return for a 17th NFL season at the age of 38.
He's back. pic.twitter.com/E9e7chHTX2
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) March 14, 2018
According to the team, Peppers signed a one-year deal to play in his 10th season at Carolina.
Peppers had 11 sacks last season and joined Bruce Smith (200 sacks), Reggie White (198), Kevin Greene (160) and Chris Doleman (150 1/2) as the only players with 150 or more sacks since 1982, when sacks became an official NFL stat.
With 154 1/2 sacks over his career, Peppers needs just six sacks to move past Greene for third place all-time. He also has 73 pass breakups, 11 interceptions, 49 forced fumbles and six defensive touchdowns to his credit.
With White, Greene and Peppers, three of the top four sacks leaders all played for the Panthers at some point during their careers.
Peppers played on a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Panthers last season. He returned to Carolina, which selected him with the second overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, after seven years split between the Bears and Packers. Peppers, a North Carolina native who played collegiately at UNC, spent his first eight NFL seasons with the Panthers. He was the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2002 and has been selected to the Pro Bowl nine times.
Peppers had shoulder surgery on Feb. 8 after playing most of the 2017 season with a brace on his right shoulder. He said the procedure went smoothly and he was recovering well — well enough to play another season.