The long wait is over for the Carolina Panthers – defensive end Julius Peppers has officially signed his franchise tender.

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The disgruntled Peppers skipped all of the Panthers’ offseason OTA sessions the past couple months in efforts to boycott signing his franchise tender. Peppers, who became a free agent at the end of the 2008 season and was hoping to test the market, was assigned the franchise tag by the team and demanded a trade.

But in the end, Peppers caved and will make more than $16 million next season. Now that he has signed, the Panthers hope that Peppers will put this offseason mess behind him and once again be a force on their defense.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.COM have made the Panthers 25/1 long shots to win Super Bowl XLIV. Carolina’s odds to win the NFC have been set at 9/1 and their odds to repeat as NFC South champions at 2/1.

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Posted: 6/24/09 11:30PM ET