The veteran defensive player Julius Peppers has been released from the roster of the Chicago Bears. As teams start to make way for their new free agents, as the Bears did, some teams will unfortunately be forced to get rid of their veterans.
Julius Peppers has been in the league for several seasons, and has enjoyed success with the Bears for the past four seasons, but his performance did decline in 2013, and the Bears also struggled for a number of other reasons.
He has been a great defensive end during his time in the league, but is having to part ways with his team because they are looking for younger talent. The Chicago Bears had just signed free agent defensive end Lamarr Houston, free agent safety Ryan Mundy and incumbent middle linebacker D.J. Williams.
Despite releasing the veteran for salary cap space, he will surely be missed. Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery spoke highly of the defensive end when saying "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.”
DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers, Darrelle Revis, etc. A couple years ago you couldn't pay these guys enough money. Now looking for jobs.
— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) March 11, 2014
The move to get several new guys has cost them their veteran, but as teams continue to look for younger players that will be able to last longer in the league, it may not be such a bad thing for them. When terminating Julius Peppers' contract, the Bears were able to save $9.4 million against the 2014 salary cap.
His contract termination does not come as a surprise to most people as he had a $13.9 million salary, and $20 million cap number. He was eve included in a list of the 24 NFC players who were likely to be cut during the free agency period.
While the Bears have collected a handful of defensive free agents, they will still need to look for some offense somewhere since they struggled greatly last year, and were not able to make the playoffs, despite an incredibly weak season for the NFC North.
Bears announce the release of Julius Peppers. Inevitable, but still surprising.
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 11, 2014
When Julius Peppers joined the Chicago Bears in 2010, he was given the largest contract that a defensive end had ever received. At 34 years old, Peppers may begin to think about retirement soon, and while he used to be a huge NFL star, he only had 7 sacks in 2013.
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