This should end any further talk of Julius Peppers being a possible candidate for playing here in New England.

The Panthers official site reported Wednesday afternoon that Julius Peppers signed his franchise tender, ending months of speculation of a trade.  Peppers had been rumored to have been headed to New England, which later ended up being untrue.  By signing the tender he’ll receive a one-year, $16.7 million guaranteed salary.

“Over the past few months we have had regular communication with Carl Carey, Julius’ representative, and all indications were that Julius would be signed to report to training camp,” General Manager Marty Hurney said.  “Julius obviously is a very valuable member of our team and we look forward to the 2009 season.