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Former Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers signed a three-year contract that’s worth up to $30 million on Saturday. The deal has $7.5 million in guaranteed money, and he will have an $8.5 million salary in the first year.
The signing comes only a day after the Packers re-signed defensive tackle B.J. Raji. Peppers was going to have a base salary of $13.9 million this year, and $18.183 million going against the Bears' salary cap. The Bears decided that he was too expensive and they released him after signing Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston, according to the Associated Press.
Peppers will be reunited with Mike Trgovac, who was one of his coaches when he played for the Carolina Panthers, in Green Bay. Signing Peppers is a kind of move that the Packers hardly make. He is only the third unrestricted free agent to sign with the Packers since 2009, according to ESPN, which first reported the signing.
It’s the Packers first big move for an unrestricted free agent since Charles Woodson signed with them in 2006.
Peppers, who is an eight-time Pro Bowler, was once considered one of the top defensive ends in the NFL. Last year he had 45 tackles and seven sacks, which is his lowest sack total in three seasons, according to Fox Sports. He has had double-digit sack seasons eight times in his career. Peppers has 556 tackles, 118.5 sacks, which ranks second in the league since 2002, and 39 forced fumbles in 12 seasons in the NFL.
The Packers are the third NFL team that Peppers will play for. He played for the Panthers for eight seasons before going to the Bears.
image: By United States Marine Corps/Sgt. D.R. Cotton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons