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Panthers' Julius Peppers Announces Retirement

Carolina Panthers

It was announced Friday that Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers is retiring from the NFL after 17 seasons.

Peppers joined the Panthers in 2002 from UNC-Chapel Hill and went on to play for the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers before returning to the Panthers. Peppers leaves the NFL a 9-time Pro Bowler, 6-time AP All-Pro selection and fourth in NFL history with 159.5 sacks. Ninety-seven of those sacks were with the Panthers, a franchise record.

He is also the Panthers' nominee for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his work in aiding Hurricane Florence recovery efforts.

Related story: Panthers' Julius Peppers Nominated For NFL Man Of The Year

Panthers coach Ron Rivera calls Peppers one of the greatest to ever play football and of his departure, owner David Tepper said, "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."