With the offseason officially kicking off, we now look forward to free agency and the draft. So far the Phil Emery has signed Tony Fiammetta, Robbie Gould, Matt Slauson, Tim Jennings and Jay Cutler to extensions with plenty of work ahead of him.
Spotrac just released projected cap space for 2014 and the Bears are currently ranked 19 with $7.3 million to work with. Cutler takes up the most cap space with $22.5 million, then Julius Peppers with $18.9 million. If the Bears were do make any significant free agent moves, Emery will likely ask Peppers to take a pay cut or let him loose.
Peppers signed a six-year $91.5 million, $42 million guaranteed, in 2010. Players who sign a big deal rarely ever see the entire value of their contract and at this point, Peppers has earned most of the value. Last season, Peppers was on par in tackles and other important statistical categories but had only 7.5 sacks, his lowest total since signing with the Bears.
I’m a Peppers fan and think he can still ball with the Bears but for the right price. With a new defensive line coach, Paul Pasqualoni, to work with and a potentially new defensive scheme, it will be a change of scenery in a familiar place.