The Chicago Bears reached an impasse with star defensive end Julius Peppers this off-season. Teams can seldom afford to part with pass rushers in today’s NFL, but Chicago knew that they were not going to be able to afford to keep Peppers.
They tried to trade him, but to no avail. That brings us to this evening and the news that the team has released the veteran end.
Bears announced they are releasing DE Julius Peppers.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
Peppers showed some age in 2013, compiling seven sacks in 16 games after 11 and 11.5 in the seasons prior. He is a still good pass rusher and an underrated defender in the run game, though, so whichever team lands him will get a quality player. As for the Bears, they loosen up some money to improve their roster elsewhere.
Bears will swallow $8.367 million in dead money. If not designated a 6/1 cut, cap savings for 2014 will be $9.817 million.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 11, 2014
These are the tough business decisions of the NFL, but the Bears simply could not keep Peppers at the cap number it would have cost them in 2014.