The Chicago Bears may have cut defensie end Julius Peppers earlier this week, but it didn’t take long for the former Pro Bowl lineman to find work as he signed a three-year deal with the Green Bay Packers.
Peppers will make a guaranteed $7.5 million over the life of the contract, and will make $8.5 million in the first year, according to several reports. In total, the deal will pay Peppers about $30 million if he hits all of the bonuses and contract parameters along the way. ESPN's Josina Anderson had the figures on the deal first, and also broke the contract this morning:
Source: Julius Peppers has agreed to terms with the Green Bay Packers on a 3-year deal.
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 15, 2014
The move to Green Bay will come with a couple of adjustments for Peppers, who has played his entire NFL career as a defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme. The Packers are famous for employing a 3-4, and Peppers could see a little bit of time as an outside linebacker with the team. With linebackers like Clay Matthews and linemen like B.J. Raji, Peppers will look to make a big impact on a defense that has underperformed at times in recent seasons.
As for the Bears, it’s easy to see why they weren’t able to retain Peppers. He was set to carry a salary cap hit of over $18 million this season, and after already restructuring his contract twice to stay with the team, Peppers likely wasn’t willing to take the drastic pay cut that would have been required to rework the deal again.
In the end, the Bears got their cap savings, and the Packers got the benefit of getting a player with a lot of experience under his belt, and both teams will hope that they got the better end of the bargain.