Julius Peppers committing to 16th season

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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Forget retirement. Julius Peppers plans to play in 2017.

Peppers, fifth in the NFL in career sacks, has at least one more year in him, his agent, Carl Carey, told ESPN.

"Julius, after taking some time to reflect during the offseason, has decided that he still has the desire and enthusiasm for the game, and his intention is to play a 16th NFL season," Carey told ESPN.

The 37-year-old Peppers had sounded unsure about his future after the Green Bay Packers' 2016 season ended in January.

Shortly after the season -- his third with the Packers -- Peppers said he felt confident he could play for at least one more year. However, when asked whether he wanted to, he replied, "I don't know."

With free agency set to begin this week, Peppers has made up his mind.

"He feels great," Carey said. "He's currently working out in Miami, and he's ready to go."

Peppers completed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Packers and is set to become a free agent. Carey said he met with the Packers over the weekend at the NFL scouting combine.

"There has been communication with the Packers, and there's a tremendous amount of mutual respect between Julius and the Packers organization," Carey said. "They've been great to him over the years, and that carries a lot of weight with him. Of course, free agency is unpredictable, so we'll see what happens over the next several days."

Peppers recorded 25 of his 143.5 career regular-season sacks in his three seasons in Green Bay. He had 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery last season.

Still seeking a Super Bowl title, Peppers spent the first eight years of his career with the Carolina Panthers followed by four with the Chicago Bears. He played in two NFC Championship Games in his three years with the Packers.

He did not miss a game with the Packers, and the only times he appeared on the injury report were when coach Mike McCarthy forced him to take days off from practice for rest.

McCarthy said last week at the combine that the indication he received from Peppers was that he wanted to keep playing.

"I think Julius just wanted to step away from it," McCarthy said. "I know he would continue to like to play, just as far as the conversations that we had. But it was important for him to step away."