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Panthers franchise Peppers

Updated: February 19, 2009, 7:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers have placed the franchise tag on defensive end Julius Peppers, setting up a potentially nasty showdown with the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end who wants to play elsewhere next season.

The move on Thursday came moments after the Panthers agreed with All-Pro left tackle Jordan Gross on a six-year deal. Having locked up Gross, the Panthers placed the restrictive tag on Peppers, who had said he would request a trade under that scenario.

"Julius ...

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