Updates from Monday, Mar. 17
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the latest on Julius Peppers' deal with the Packers:
The three-year deal free agent DE Julius Peppers signed with the Packers Sunday is worth $27 million and features $7.5 million in guarantees.
According to a source with access to NFLPA salary data, Peppers will make $8.5 million total in 2014, but because $7.5 million of it is guaranteed - and for cap purposes pro-rated over the three years of the deal - the first-year cap number is only $3.5 million.
If the Packers hang onto Peppers in 2015, his cap number jumps to $12 million. It is $10.5 million in 2016.
Source: Julius Peppers has agreed to terms with the Green Bay Packers on a 3-year deal.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 15, 2014
Anderson later added the details of the contract:
Filed to ESPN: Agent Carl Carey adds Julius Peppers' 3-year deal to Green Bay is "for $30M max, $7.5M guaranteed & $8.5M in tot 1st yr sal."— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 15, 2014
Peppers' agent, Carl Carey, tweeted out a photo of the defensive end signing his deal in Green Bay:
Julius Peppers is officially a Packer! pic.twitter.com/gheY8Yc5bD— Carl Carey, PhD (@CarlCareyPhD) March 15, 2014
The 34-year-old was released by the Chicago Bears on Tuesday in an effort to free up cap space after the team signed free-agent defensive end Lamarr Houston. Peppers was scheduled to earn $13.9 million in base salary in 2014 and would have counted around $18 million toward the Bears' cap, per Spotrac.
Bears announce the release of Julius Peppers. Inevitable, but still surprising.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 11, 2014
In a statement released Tuesday, Bears general manager Phil Emery thanked Peppers for his four seasons in Chicago and commended his leadership, per ChicagoBears.com's Larry Mayer:
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.
A former second overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2002, Peppers has played in 186 regular-season games over 12 seasons.
Although age is a concern, Peppers hasn't missed a game since 2007 and has started every one since 2010. In addition to his durability, he boasts a mammoth frame (6'6", 283 lbs), that, when coupled with his athleticism, makes for a matchup nightmare for any offensive lineman.
Peppers was relatively quiet in 2013, recording just 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception, but his presence helped the Bears in ways that don't always show up in the stat sheet.
Over/under 9.5 sacks for Julius Peppers in 2014?
In a new environment with a team that clearly wants him in 2014, Peppers will have an excellent shot to record double-digit sacks for the ninth season. With 118.5 career sacks, Peppers ranks 17th on the all-time list and third among active players. Therefore, it's quite possible the former North Carolina Tar Heel could finish his career ranked among the top-10 sack leaders of all time.
Green Bay is without a doubt better off following this signing. The Packers are acquiring a leader on the field and a durable playmaker who can anchor a defense.
While Peppers is on the backside of his career, he still makes an impact and won't be short on motivation following his release from Chicago. Not to mention he's still chasing the elusive Super Bowl title.
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