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Packers GM: 'No evidence' Julius Peppers has declined


Packers general manager Ted Thompson believes Julius Peppers is set up well to wreak havoc in Green Bay this season.

Released in March by the Bears, Peppers is coming off a campaign that saw him notch 7.5 sacks, his lowest total since 2007. He's also on the wrong side of 30, but Thompson doesn't see a swoon in the pass rusher's potential.

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"Well, 34 is not so old," Thompson said Thursday, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Not for some of us. There's no evidence of any decline in his play, in our opinion. He still has the same athletic traits that he had coming out. He's had a remarkable history in the NFL in terms of durability. We're looking forward to it. I think he is, too."

We'd be stunned if Peppers plays out his three-year contract, which looks more like a lucrative one-year pact on paper.

Peppers is penciled in to play the "elephant" role, lining up at defensive end, outside linebacker and even inside on some passing downs. He's still a productive quarterback chaser, and the attention he draws from defenses should help turn Clay Matthews into a legitimate bounce-back candidate.

Green Bay's defense was a M.A.S.H. unit last season, but the return of Casey Hayward, Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy ensures that Peppers won't be asked to do it alone.

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