Julius Peppers finds himself in a familiar situation. The Bears’ defensive end has agreed to have his contract to restructure his contract to create more salary-cap flexibility for the team.
Peppers didn’t necessarily take a pay cut, but the team converted $3 million of the $12.9 million base salary into a signing bonus rather than having it count against the team’s cap. Ultimately, the Bears save $2 million in cap space, and Peppers’ cap hit goes from $16.387 to $14.387.
Going back to February 2011, Peppers had his contract restructured to create $8 million in cap space for the Bears. The defensive end was due a $10.5 million roster bonus that year that would have counted against the team’s salary-cap space. Instead, the two sides agreed to convert that into a signing bonus to wipe it off their cap books. At the time, his cap hit reduced from a significant $12 million to a mere $4.3 million.
When asked about the agreement, Peppers simply said, “I don’t really know what to say to that. You can analyze it how you want to. I guess it’s confirmed. That’s not my area. You’ve got to talk to [general manager] Phil [Emery] about that.”
Regardless, Peppers’ cap hit will increase over the final two years of his six-year deal, ultimately reaching $20.683 million in 2015.
ESPNChicago.com’s Michael C. Wright had the story first.