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Peppers and Panthers aren’t talking

Julius Peppers may not have a preference of where he’ll play next season, but it’s starting to sound like the Panthers would prefer he play elsewhere.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Panthers have not spoken to Julius Peppers about a contract extension and do not plan to place the franchise tag on him.

One source told Schefter: “Their owner [Jerry Richardson] has told people they’re not planning to keep him.”

While a Panthers official told Schefter no decision has been made, cutting ties with Peppers makes sense. It would cost the team $21.8 million to use the franchise tag again.

Peppers’ agent is convinced the team has moved on. “I initiated communication with the organization shortly after the season ended,” agent Carl Carey told the Charlotte Observer. They are definitely giving Julius the silent treatment, but sometimes silence actually tells you more than words do.”

And Carolina’s silence says that Peppers is likely headed for an insanely big payday in five weeks.