Julius Peppers’ Future With The Bears In Doubt?

Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago writes that there’s “no way” Bears DE Julius Peppers returns to Chicago next season with his current salary and cap figures in place.

Peppers, 34, will enter the fifth year of his six-year, $84 million contract he signed in 2010, which also included $42 million guaranteed. As things stand right now, Peppers is scheduled to make $13.9 million for the 2014 season with another $16.5 million coming his way in 2015. Pepper currently has a huge cap figure of $18.183 million, which is extremely high, especially for someone who doesn’t play quarterback.

Peppers did produce 46 tackles, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles an interception and a fumble returned for a touchdown in 2013. That’s decent production for most NFL players, but the Bears are paying him a huge salary at a time when he’s already in his mid-thirties.

Releasing Peppers would create close to $9.8 million in cap space for the Bears this season, while restructuring his contract could free up $6.47 million, according to Overthecap.com.

Dickerson believes the Bears “welcome Peppers back to the team, but not as his current salary structure.

Chicago is expected to have close to $5.6 million in available cap space now that they have addressed the contracts of QB Jay Cutler, CB Tim Jennings and G Matt Slauson, so it makes plenty of sense to get Peppers’ cap figure lowered one way or another.

Other Bears Notes:

  • Dickerson writes that the Bears will need to “try and squeeze whatever value they can out of [Shea] McClellin.
  • Dickerson mentions that drafting another defensive end is an “urgent” priority for the team.
pixy Julius Peppers' Future With The Bears In Doubt?

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Pallhh .
Pallhh .

So, would a trade be in the mix or just releasing him and taking the $$ hit? I know there was an article about Michael Bennett, Martellus’s brother, wanting to play with his brother. I think he played a lot of inside 3 technique this year for the Seahawks but has been a defenisve end.

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NFL Trade Rumors

A trade seems very unlikely given that his cap figure is so high right now. If they were to get his cap figure down to something more manageable, this could be an option, but NFL teams rarely part with compensation for a DE who’s already 34-years-old.

Releasing Peppers outright would free up close to $9.8M or so, but designating him as a June 1 release would increase the cap saving to $14M.

Bennett has some versatility, so I do think he would be a good addition if they could make this happen somehow.


Hello, Captain Obvious. Everybody and their second cousin has been saying this for over a year. It’s no mystery that Peppers is just not worth what they’d have to pay him the next two years. It would take a MASSIVE restructuring of his deal for him to stay next season, but I don’t see it happening. They’ll take the $10 million and let him go.

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NFL Trade Rumors

We’ve covered the topic a few times already, but was just providing an update based on Jeff Dickerson’s last position breakdown.