Julius Peppers was MIA a lot this past year, and I don’t mean Miami. Peppers was so ineffective and non-existent in the Chicago Bears defense at times that even the homers who masquerade as journalists on the local television stations called him out. Later in the season Peppers started to turn it around a bit, but nowhere near enough to justify his massive salary.
Well, he’s Green Bay’s problem now.
Packers Nation is celebrating the arrival of Julius Peppers, once again giving us evidence that true rivalries don’t exist in the pros anymore.
— Packer Nation (@Packer_Nation) March 15, 2014
Right there, you can see Julius Peppers signing his contract with the Packers. Giving more credence to the Jerry Seinfeld comedic bit about sports fans, “you’re rooting for clothes.” Peppers agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $30 million, his agent, Carl Carey, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The deal includes $7.5 million in guaranteed money and will pay Peppers $8.5 million in salary for the first year, Carey told Anderson.
Julius Peppers was once one of the NFL’s most dominant players at this position. It’s anybody’s guess as to why he dropped off so much in his production. Injuries, age, the game catching up to his skill set, it all played a factor. And that’s why the Bears had to let him go, the ROI was awful.
This season, The Bears converted $3 million of Julius Peppers base salary ($12.9 million) into a signing bonus ($3 million), which reduces his base salary for 2013 to $9.9 million. The move creates $2 million in salary-cap space for the Bears, and reduces the defensive end’s cap charge from $16.387 million this season to $14.387 million.
However, it’s still not enough from a cap space perspective. The Bears simply have to many issues to fix on defense and need more wiggle room on the cap to make that happen.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)
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