ATLANTA (WBTV) - Julius Peppers was already set to spend the weekend in Atlanta for the NFL Honors where he is being honored for his work off the field before he announced his retirement.
After 17 seasons, Peppers made the 2018 season his last.
"I'm feeling good. I'm happy. I got a lot of well wishes so yesterday was a great day. I'm looking forward to the next chapter, I'm happy, I'm healthy, and I'm looking forward to it," Peppers said.
He's also very thankful he was able to finish his career where he started - in Carolina.
“I think the whole story coming full circle was a great thing. I’m happy to be home and finish it out as a Panther,” Peppers explained.
Now back to his work off the field.
"It's a great honor. It's a great event to be a part of. I'm happy to be considered. So many great candidates for this award if I'm able to win that'll be great, but if not I'm enjoying this experience and I'm happy to be here," Peppers said.
He also credits one teammate in particular that inspired him to start giving back - former Walter Payton Man of the Year, Thomas Davis.
“I watched Thomas grow up, do things in the community, start his foundation and things of that sort. I always supported him behind the scenes, and I was just inspired by the work he was doing and I decided to get out and do the same,” Peppers said.
Regardless of win or lose Saturday night, Peppers plans to continue his charity efforts. He will be hosting a Sneaker Ball Charity event in Charlotte at the Harvey B. Gantt Center on Feb. 14.
The event will support three local Charlotte organizations: Young Black Leadership Alliance, Girl Talk Foundation Inc. and the Center for Community Transitions.