Bears renegotiate Julius Peppers’ deal, free up cap spaceContinue reading.
Bears say Julius Peppers “under contract,” little else
INDIANAPOLIS — A common refrain around Halas Hall made its way to the NFL Combine on Thursday: that decisions are made when you absolutely have to make them.
That day, apparently, has not yet come for Julius Peppers.
Asked whether the defensive end has played his last game for the Bears, coach Marc Trestman was coy.
“Julius Peppers is under contract, and he’s been very important to our football team,” he said at Lucas Oil Stadium. “And I don’t think anything more needs to be said in that regard at this point in time.”
Both Trestman sand Bears general manager Phil Emery were vague when asked about Peppers’ future.
Peppers, who had 7 1/2 sacks last season, carries a $18.2 million cap number in 2014.
Were the Bears to cut him, Peppers would still cost $8 million of dead money. If they wait until June 1, they could split that number over two seasons.
The team could renegotiate his contract, too, the way it did last season.
“Julius has been an important part of our locker room,” Trestman said.
“His work ethic was exceptional during the whole season. His focus was good.
“I’m sure he’ll tell you, as we all did, that he had very, very good moments and moments when he didn’t play
as well as he would have liked.”
Emery wouldn’t get into specifics about his future.
“That would be a contract question, and I think I have had a very demonstrated history of not answering those questions,” the general manager said. “I will say that Julius is part of our football team.
“He is under contract.
“We’re all coming off an 8-8 season. We have a lot to improve upon and that is where our heads are at.”