Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Chicago Bears could approach DE Julius Peppers about restructuring his current contract that will pay him a sizable base salary of $12.9 million for the 2013 season.
Peppers currently counts $16.3 million against the team’s salary cap and is under contract for another three season with base salaries of $13.9 million and $16.5 million coming his way in 2014 and 2015.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton is an obvious candidate for the team’s franchise tag, which will cost them $8.3 million. This figure can always be reduced if they’re to agree on a long-term contract extension at some point down the road.
Julius Peppers, 33, recorded his fifth straight Pro-Bowl season and is still playing at a very high level. Renegotiating his current wouldn’t force him to take a pay cut. Instead, these types of adjustments typically convert a player’s base salary into a signing bonus that’s prorated over the remainder of the current deal.
Chicago could also free up some extra cash by re-signing CB Charles Tillman to a multi-year extension.
We should know whether or not the Bears intend address these player’s contracts in the near future, as they’ll have to make a decision regarding their franchise tag by March 4.