Julius Peppers uncertainty leaves Panthers squeezed by cap - NFL - SI.com The term "killing" comes from the newspaper that shall not be named.... but they basically ran the same AP story seen here. Interesting how having a high priced tagged player can really hamstring a team in the offseasson, huh? I'm not saying the Panthers and Patriots situations were the same, but for all those who were so cavalier about tagging Cassel in the first place, and then cavalier - even critical - of Belichick's decision to quickly move to take an offer on the table, they might want to reconsider and at least acknowledge that there was some risk that the Patriots were taking when they tagged Cassel at nearly $15 million. For all those who downplayed the risk to the Patriots saying that tagging and trading Cassel "isn't rocket science" - they should at least take note that things similar to the Peppers situation can and do happen - and when players are makign $14, $15 and more than $16 million on the cap, that can REALLY hamstring an offseason. Belichick could have played one team off of another, but he also risked letting the deal on the table fall apart by trying to leverage more from Pioli.