The Chicago Bears thought bringing in a new head coach and shifting the focus of the franchise to the offensive side of the ball would change the losing culture. While the season the Bears turned in wasn’t technically a losing season, they failed to make the postseason, even with an offense that looks primed to explode in 2014.
Chicago shifting their attention to the offensive side of the ball means big defensive cuts are in store, something Jason La Canfora points out in his column this week. According to the CBS insider, the Bears are expected to cut Julius Peppers along with receiver Earl Bennett.
GM Phil Emery wasn’t the one who vastly overspent for Peppers (that was since-fired GM Jerry Angelo), so I don’t believe for a second he will play the sporadic performer $14M (counting $18.2M against the cap). In fact, Emery would be a fool to do so with all of Bears’ other needs on defense. Save his $14M in cap space — which they need with Jay Cutler counting a ridiculous $22.5M against the cap — and let Peppers go.
There’s no guarantee that the Bears will cut Peppers, but it makes a load of sense from a numbers standpoint. He’s not the defensive presence he once was with the Panthers and he’s vastly overpaid at the salary he’s receiving. Restructuring seems out of the question and an outright release may be what’s next for Peppers in Chicago.