The writing appears to be on the wall for defensive end Julius Peppers. You can probably count his remaining time with the team in hours rather than days or weeks. With the free agency scramble set to begin at 3PM Central on Tuesday, the Bears are getting ready to part ways with the veteran defensive end. But rather than just straight up cutting him, the Bears are trying to trade Peppers. This from NFL.com:
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed Monday that the Bears are looking to move Peppers, according to a source informed of the team’s plans. If they can’t find a trading partner, Peppers will be released. Rapoport expects Peppers to be cut in time for Chicago to make a big move for a pass rusher on the free agent market.
I think it’s a loooong shot that anyone offers the Bears much of anything for Peppers in trade because they would then pick up his contract. It’s possible a team might want to get a “fast pass” to the Julius Peppers experience and not risk a bidding war on the open market, but you have to believe that anyone trading for Peppers would want to restructure his deal or else pay him $13 million this coming season.
The Bears broke the bank on Peppers to start the 2010 free agency period and while the Bears made it to the NFC Championship that season, they haven’t done much since they acquired Peppers, who many believed would be the final piece of the puzzle for Lovie Smith’s defense.
If this is the end of his days in Chicago for Peppers, you’d have to say his stint in Chicago was a bust. He had 38 sacks in four seasons with the Bears, who missed the playoffs in three of those four years.
What do you think? Are you glad to see Peppers gone? Who will replace him?