ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Chicago Bears are making calls around the league in an attempt to trade veteran DE Julius Peppers.
- Schfter adds that a trade is “unlikely.”
There have been reports for months that Peppers was a likely cap casualty this offseason and their pursuit of Michael Bennett was a pretty good indication that he won’t be back next year.
It’s hard to imagine any team being willing to take on Peppers at his current salary, so his release seems inevitable at this point in time.
Peppers, 34, is entering 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.