Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers announced his retirement from the NFL after 17 seasons with Carolina, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
FILE PHOTO: Dec 17, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers (90) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The 39-year-old is fourth on the NFL’s all-time sack list (159.5) behind three Hall of Famers: Kevin Greene (160), Reggie White (198) and Bruce Smith (200).
Peppers released a video Friday, thanking fans and supporters along the way for a journey that started when the Panthers drafted him second overall in 2002. He is a North Carolina alum.
Peppers played in the final 176 consecutive games in his career. With 266 games played, he’s sixth among defensive players in NFL history in that category.
—Just two days before Super Bowl LIII, both the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots reported a clean bill of health.
None of the 106 players on both rosters were listed on Friday’s injury report, the final health update in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl from Atlanta.
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, who booted a game-winning 57-yard field goal in the NFC Championship Game victory over the New Orleans Saints, had been nursing a sprained left foot that kept him limited at practice as late as Thursday, but also was a full participant.
—Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray entered the NFL draft with the goal of playing two professional sports.
He said in a live studio interview it might require a team in the Bay Area — the San Francisco 49ers or Oakland Raiders — given he already was drafted by the Oakland Athletics.
“In my head, I would love to play both. That would be up to the Raiders and the A’s,” Murray told The Dan Patrick Show at the Super Bowl. The Raiders are scheduled to move to Las Vegas in 2020.
—New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said on The Dan Patrick Show he was disappointed in how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell handled the aftermath of the Saints’ 26-23 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
Brees, 40, acknowledged on social media earlier this week that he continued to feel the sting of the loss. He told Patrick the pain could have been eased had Goodell himself acknowledged that the officials missed a call for either pass interference or helmet-to-helmet contact late in the game.
—Former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa said he is recovered from core muscle surgery and ready to show the football world what he can do.
Bosa, in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, said he expects to fully participate in the NFL Scouting Combine that begins in Indianapolis later this month. Bosa is expected to be a top-five selection in the NFL draft in April, and a candidate to go first overall.
He sustained the injury in a game Sept. 15 against TCU, then left the Buckeyes and withdrew from school in October to concentrate on rehabilitation and draft prep.
—Longtime Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi is expected to be hired by the Saints at the same position, according to multiple reports.
Rizzi had interviewed for the Dolphins’ head coaching vacancy before the job went to Brian Flores. Rizzi will replace Bradford Banta in New Orleans. Mike Westhoff, who came out of retirement to join the Saints midway through the 2017 season, is not expected to return.
—Former quarterback Wade Wilson, who played for five NFL teams over 17 seasons, and was most recently a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach, died Friday on his 60th birthday.
The Cowboys announced that Wilson died in his home at Coppell, Texas. No cause of death was given.
—Field Level Media