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Carolina Panthers’ Julius Peppers announces his retirement

Julius Peppers #90 of the Carolina Panthers warms up before their game against the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers is officially retiring. 

On Friday, Peppers announced his retirement marking an end to a 17-season NFL career and a 10-season career as a Carolina Panther.

He ranks fourth in NFL History, according to the Panthers, with 159.5 sacks, 715 tackles and 266 games.

“In getting to know Julius over these past months, I’ve learned that he is a man of few words. When he speaks, everyone listens,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a news release. “With that in mind, I will be brief. He’s one of the best to ever wear a Carolina uniform. He carries himself with dignity, integrity and class, and will always be a Panther.”

Peppers, a native of North Carolina, played his first eight seasons and his final two with the Panthers.

“Julius is one of the greatest to ever play the game of football,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “To put up the numbers he did for as long as he did speaks to his incredible talent and commitment. He is a leader in the locker room and in the community. Getting to know him over the last two seasons has been tremendous because of the type of person he is. What he did for the people affected by Hurricane Florence, getting involved and bringing them hope, says a lot about who he is. I’m proud that I get to say that I was one of his coaches, and I think it’s fitting that he gets to end his career as a Carolina Panther.”

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