Peppers, 32, has base salary of $12.9 million coming his way next season, but according to Pompei, Chicago would still lose $9.5 million of their cap space if they release him before June 1. After that date, he would only count $3.18 million against their 2013 cap, but they would lose $6.36 million in 2014.
The problem here is that Peppers’ cap figure really limits what Chicago can do this offseason. His contract makes it unlikely that he would be released before the June 1 date that Pompei mentions, so it’s almost certain that they’ll maintain his $16.3 million cap figure throughout the offseason.
Peppers is clearly a great player and has shown little signs of decline in recent years given that he finished with 11.5 sacks this season. He makes their defensive front better across the board, which is pretty evident by the stats that Israel Idonije put up in 2012, so in the end he’s really worth the cap price. Chicago will have to find other ways to free up some extra cap space, so they can start addressing their offensive line and aging defense.