Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers announces retirement

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – After 17 seasons, Julius Peppers is retiring from the NFL.

The Carolina Panthers defensive end ranks fourth in NFL history with 159.5 sacks, including a franchise-record 97 in Carolina.

Peppers has snagged 11 interceptions – making him the only player in league history to record both 150 sacks and 10 interception, the Panthers said. 

“In getting to know Julius over these past months, I’ve learned that he is a man of few words. When he speaks, everyone listens,” Panthers owner David Tepper said. “With that in mind, I will be brief. He’s one of the best to ever wear a Carolina uniform. He carries himself with dignity, integrity and class, and will always be a Panther.”

Peppers was a multi-sport star at UNC-Chapel Hill before being selected No. 2 overall by the Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft.

He earned AP Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after a 12-sack debut season.

He played his first eight seasons and final two seasons in Carolina.

He also played four seasons with the Bears and three with the Packers.

A nine-time Pro Bowler and six-time AP All-Pro selection, Peppers has the fifth-most Pro Bowl selections by a defensive lineman in NFL history.

His five Pro Bowls and four AP All-Pro selections as a Panther tie for the second-most in franchise history.

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