Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

To improve roster, Peppers will need to take a pay cut

julius peppers

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.

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Tags: Chicago Bears Julius Peppers

  • Big Swede

    Keeping Peppers around does not fit into Phil Emery’s declaration that the Bears will get younger on defense.
    Last season proves that his best days are behind him. Take the Peppers money and sign some UFA’s.

    • BearsSTH

      I still think he has value but at the right price, but you’re right his best days are behind him. He’s owed 18.5M and won’t get that in the open market.

  • Dr. Johnny Nacho

    We need Peppers to keep some stability on the defensive line. There will already be enough new faces on that side of the ball….you know what you’re going to get w/ this guy. A true pro that will bring it every game….you should actually see if he wants to retire a Chicago Bear. If so, then extend his contract a couple years so you can rework it and make it cap friendly.

    • BearsSTH

      I like Peppers too but I think Emery will if it came between a restructure or a pay cut, the latter would make more sense IMO. Restructuring will mean the Bears will spread out his 91M over more years. Pay cut will mean they’re cutting his 18.5 to something more reasonable.