Julius Peppers hasn’t even played a single down with the Chicago Bears, but he’s already ranked in the Fox Sports’ Top Ten… Most Overpaid Players. That’s a bit rough, don’t you think? Couldn’t Fox wait a season – like they did with Jay Cutler and his 26 INT’s – before adding him to this list?
Peppers ranked the #7 most overpaid player in Fox Sports’ estimation. Here’s what Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki had to say:
Julius Peppers, Bears DE
Yes, “Pep” can really look dominating at times, but his value of $20 million this season is truly a product of the system. He played under the franchise tag last season and produced 10 ½ sacks and 35 quarterback pressures for the Panthers while finishing ninth overall in tackles. Is he a very good player? Yes. Is he better than Jared Allen or Kevin Williams or DeMarcus Ware? Hell, no.
Hell no? I think the answer to that question is marginal at best and certainly not an emphatic “hell no”.
As for Cutler, he is the #3 ranked most overpaid and the top quarterback on the list. Little did Fox know that Cutler was getting paid by the interception, so he was actually a bargain last year. Here’s Fox’s blurb on Cutty:
Jay Cutler, Bears QB
It wasn’t a mistake trading Kyle Orton and draft picks to Denver for this QB, but it was ludicrous to give him a fat, new contract before he earned Chicago’s respect. Cutler is collecting $15 million a year, but he’s the third-best QB in the NFC North. Granted, he has all the physical tools to be a great one, but needs to control his crazy penchant to throw into traffic and unload under pressure. In 53 career starts, he has lost five more games than he has won.
At least they acknowledge that the trade wasn’t a mistake. We spent the better part of last season deliberating that one.
The bottom line is that thanks to years of bad decisions and even worse drafts, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith are fighting for their professional lives. Desperate times call for desperate measures. In this case, that desperation comes with a hefty price tag. Overpaid? Maybe. But if these guys deliver even close to their potential, the money will be well worth it.