In an expected move, the Bears freed up some cap space by releasing the 34-year-old Peppers who was set to receive a base salary of $13.9 million in 2014 and count $18.183 million against the cap.
The Chicago Bears signed Peppers to a blockbuster six-year deal worth $84 million in 2010, but age and a decline in production made Peppers expendable. Bears general manager Phil Emery addressed the move and his appreciation for Peppers in a statement.
“We appreciate Julius’ contributions to the Bears over the last four years. He was a leader on our defense, starting every game since coming to Chicago. His accomplishments over his NFL career place him among the best defensive ends over the past 20 years. The Chicagoland community has benefited greatly from his quiet generosity. We wish him the best.”
Despite slowing down a little, Peppers led the Bears in sacks last season with 7.5. Most importantly, he has proved his durability by playing in nearly every game for the Bears in his four-year run with the team.
In his career, Peppers has 118.5 career sacks and can still another team as a situational pass rusher.
The Bears got younger at the position by signing former Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston to a five-year deal worth $35 million on Tuesday.
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