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.