NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has recently stated that Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick will be eligible to play by the third week of the 2009 NFL regular season. “Hopefully we can have a success story here, which would be good for society in general,” said Goodell. “He’s realistic about the challenges ahead, and anxious to play football.”
The Eagles are set to match up with the New York Jets for their last preseason game before they open up the regular season in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers on September 13th. Vick will be able to officially take the field on September 20th when his team hosts the New Orleans Saints in Philadelphia.
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Rumors of a trade that would bring Julius Peppers from the Carolina Panthers to the New England Patriots have begun circulating again. Carolinian radio station WFNZ has apparently reported that the Panthers want Richard Seymour and a second round pick. With the NFL draft just around the corner, expect this rumor to be proven one way or the other shortly.
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The Carolina Panthers have recently denied a report saying they have spoken with the New England Patriots about a possible trade for defensive end Julius Peppers. NFL.com took the lead citing unidentified sources, stating the Patriots were close to a deal that would send Peppers their way for the 34th overall pick in the upcoming draft. New England gained the pick a few weeks ago by trading Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Carolina general manager Marty Hurney explained that they are unable to speak about Peppers to other teams at the moment. “Under the non-exclusive franchise tag, Julius and his agent, Carl Carey, are within their rights to talk to other teams about a potential contract,” said Hurney. “However, at this point, we are not aware of any such conversations.”
Peppers was the number two overall pick in the 2002 draft, and he is currently the Panthers all-time sacks leader. He has announced this off season that he is looking to play elsewhere, and he would like to try moving to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense (similar to what New England offers). Nothing can happen unless Peppers signs a one-year $16.7 million tender for the Panthers, which goes against the teams salary cap and leaves no room to sign other free agents.
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The first round of the NFL Playoffs are over, and the divisional round match-ups are set.
Saturday, January 3rd
Arizona 30, Atlanta 24
The slumping Cardinals beat the surging Falcons to move to the divisional round for only the second time in a decade.
San Diego 23, Indianapolis 17 (OT)
Peyton Manning and the Colts have been knocked off in the first round of the playoffs for the sixth time in their last eight appearances.
Sunday January 4th
Baltimore 27, Miami 9
Chad Pennington threw four interceptions right to the solid Baltimore defense. The Ravens even managed to block the PAT on Miami’s only touchdown.
Philadelphia 26, Minnesota 14
Brian Westbrook’s highlight-reel 71 yard reception put the Eagles out of reach.
Divisional Week Matchups
Saturday January 10th
4:30pm – Baltimore at Tennessee8:15pm – Arizona at Carolina
Sunday January 11th
1:00pm – Philadelphia at Giants4:45pm – San Diego at PittsburghNFL Playoff Tickets are available now!