Charles Johnson re-signs with Panthers, wants Julius Peppers to return to Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After defensive end Charles Johnson on Tuesday re-signed on a two-year deal worth $9.5 million with the Carolina Panthers, he’s ready to help recruit free-agent defensive end Julius Peppers.
Johnson would like himself and Peppers, 37, to retire with the team that drafted them.
Peppers, who spent the past three seasons playing outside linebacker with the Packers, spent his first eight NFL seasons playing end at Carolina after being made the second pick of the 2002 draft. He still ranks first on the team’s all-time sack list with 81.
Johnson, 30, is second with 67.5 since Carolina selected him in the third round of the 2007 draft out of Georgia.
Johnson made it clear Carolina is where he wants to retire and said it would be fitting if Peppers did the same thing in his home state.
“I just want to see him retire a Panther,” he said.
General manager Dave Gettleman admitted last week at the NFL combine that Carolina almost brought Peppers back in 2014 before he signed with Green Bay for the opportunity to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
“It sounded like it had a reasonable shot, and then the last minute he went to Green Bay,” he said.
Johnson said a couple of other teams offered him deals — a…