After signing a two-year deal worth $9.5 million on Tuesday instead of testing free agency, Johnson said he is lobbying the Panthers to bring back the 37-year-old Peppers.
"From a personal opinion and as a friend of his, I just want to see him retire as a Panther," Johnson said, via the Charlotte Observer. "I just think him coming back for a year and retiring as a Panther, what better career for him to have, retiring in his home?"
Peppers, who has played outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers the past three years, spent his first eight NFL seasons at Carolina after being the second pick of the 2002 draft out of North Carolina. He went to five Pro Bowls over that span and still ranks first on the team's all-time sack list with 81.
Johnson, 30, is second with 67.5 sacks since the Panthers selected him in the third round in 2007 out of Georgia.
Johnson likely could have made more money during free agency, but he was not interested in pursuing those options.
"My decision was always to stick with my team," Johnson said Tuesday. "My passion is here. I'm going to stay where my passion and loyalty is at."
Johnson's best seasons with the Panthers were from 2010 to 2013 when he had 44 sacks. He struggled with injuries the last two seasons, making just five sacks in 22 games.
"It's great to have Charles back," coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "He has spent his entire career with the Panthers, has emerged as a leader for us in the last few years, and is a big part of the reason we've had the success we've had. We look forward to having Charles continue to be part of our team."
Johnson also sent a video message to Panthers fans via Twitter:
"We've got two years to get it done," Johnson said. "I'll give you my blood, sweat and tears. I bleed black and blue, and that's going to be 'til I retire."
The Panthers also re-signed running back Fozzy Whittaker on Wednesday to a two-year deal worth a reported $2.5 million.
Whittaker, a potential unrestricted free agent, played in all 16 games for Carolina in 2016. He rushed for 265 yards on 57 carries and posted 226 receiving yards on 25 receptions and 275 yards on 12 kickoff returns.
The 28-year-old Whittaker made his NFL debut on Arizona's practice squad in 2012 and spent time with San Diego and Cleveland in 2013 before joining the Panthers in 2014.
Whittaker has played in 55 career regular-season games with four starts, rushing for 597 yards on 142 carries with two touchdowns and making 63 catches for 505 receiving and three TDs. He has averaged 22.7 yards on 61 kickoff returns for 1,384 yards.