So What's The Book On Peppers?..............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Hall of Famer

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    Exactly. The Bears don't have to wait until June 1 to do the above (every team has the option to designate up to 2 players as a "June 1 release" even though they're cut before that date). IIRC, that portion of the dead cap hit pertaining to 2015 doesn't revert back to the team for use in 2014 until June 1st.

    Thus, in Peppers' case, the Bears would accrue $10m in additional cap space the day of his release and $4m more on June 1 for a total cap savings of $14m (all numbers approximate). If/when he's cut, it's almost certainly going to be via the June 1 Designation route.

    But he's UNDER CONTRACT and the Bears have no other starting DEs in that same position. So there's no urgency to do any of this until they have another DE on the roster.
     
  2. soulman

    soulman Position Coach
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    I forgot about that hook and I think you're right but that's money to sign the draft picks with then since until they actually sign their deals all they count is the rookie minimum of $420k x 7 is roughly $2.9 mil and change. Once they're all signed we're probably looking at $3.5 to $4 mil in cap costs.
     
  3. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Hall of Famer

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    That's what I was thinking too, Soul. Under a Peppers June 1 Designation release scenario, the team would see an additional accrual to the cap of $4m on that date (the actual number is $4.2m I believe). That's conveniently the approximate number at the appropriate time for the "draft picks signing fund".
     
  4. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    I wish they had been more thoughtful with the defense. It was a "surgery with a chain saw" approach. I realize a lot of folks want to make excuses for what happened, just like they did with the offense under Ron Turner, Mike Martz & Mike Tice. We were always making excuses for the failures on offense. Now it's the defense embarrassing us. I'm hopeful the team gets turned around under Emery/Trestman. But they have to prove that.....hopefully they will.

    I'm a long time Bears and Cubs fan of over 50 years now. So I understand how Chicago fans suffer and make excuses for mediocre teams. The new GMs/Coaches come in, we have high hopes, they fail.......and new GMs/Coaches come in and we repeat the endless cycle. Always excuses for failing to win championships. At some point a team has to actually win championships instead of us fans making endless excuses. I'm a big one on "doing" rather than "talking" a good story. LOL, I almost feel downright "unamerican" here for questioning the almighty Emery/Trestman regime. But right now I'm sitting and watching the same old movie, hoping THIS time the ending is different. That we can actually have a sustained success and bring championships to Chicago. I'm too old to enjoy the excuses anymore and the "next year" mantra and keeping hope alive for our "lovable losers" here in Chicago. That said, "Go Cubs" and "Go Bears" :)
     
  5. abegibronlives

    abegibronlives Veteran

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    His best years are behind him. If you can get him relatively cheaply, a one or two-year deal would be acceptable. If he wants a big payday, thank him for his contribution here and wish him well somewhere else.
     
  6. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Hall of Famer

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    It was? How so, JABF?

    The only starters on defense that changed before last season started were Roach (who was widely considered a minor loss and expendable) and Urlacher (who as I recall you wanted gone as "too old").

    Lets see which starters were carried over: Wright, Conte, Tillman, Jennings, Briggs, Wootton/Shea, Melton, Paea, and Peppers. Thats 5 pro-bowlers. Not to mention that the same D scheme and terminology were retained as was an attempt to keep Marinelli who departed voluntarily. Does that sound like a regime that took a "chain saw" to the defense?
    Come on....

    I do fault Phil for two bad D picks (Shea and Hardin) that depleted our depth but the vast majority of the defense's collapse last year was due to a combination of bad coaching, bad aging, and bad injuries.
     
  7. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    Those are good points, and I fully confess that I was all for letting Urlacher go at the time. In hindsight, maybe keeping him on a 1-year deal would have been better. Part of the problem is on Jerry Angelo too.

    Here's our 2012 defense. It was a top-5 defense (ranked just below the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks that year) that helped us to a 10-win season. Obviously last season was a mess. I was reading on ESPN earlier today where they described the D we now have as, "The defense is in the kind of shambles that one offseason is unlikely to fix in a significant way." I admit that there were a lot of factors that took us from that top-5 NFL defense to the abortion we have now. Maybe "surgery with a chainsaw" isn't a good descriptor. Maybe just saying the defense went to hell in a hand basket is better :)

    Here is the 2012 D:

    DC: Rod Marinelli

    DE: Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije, Shea McClellin, Corey Wootton, Cheta Ozougwu

    DT: Henry Melton, Matt Toeaina, Stephen Paea, Amobi Okoye

    LB: Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Nick Roach, Geno Hayes, Patrick Trahan, Blake Costanzo, J.T. Thomas

    CB: Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, D.J. Moore, Kelvin Hayden, Sherrick McManis

    S: Chris Conte, Major Wright, Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters, Jeremy Jones
     
    #57 JustAnotherBearsFan99, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  8. ZifanQ

    ZifanQ Pro-Bowler

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    I think we should cut Peppers unless we don't land any DE's in the FA, but I'm all in for releasing Peppers if it means we can land Bennett
     
  9. soulman

    soulman Position Coach
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    FWIW Here's what Brad Biggs wrote about this in the Trib this AM. From the looks of it the only two top DEs the Bear will have to pursue are Michael Bennett and Michael Johnson and either could command a $40 mil deal. Biggsy also comments as I have that the draft is not strong in DE pass rushers worth taking at #14 and I've seen the few mentioned after Clowney drop all the way back to the late first and early second following the combine. These guys are mostly 4.8 speed guys not 4.6 guys and they aren't the kind of physical freaks guys like Pep was and Clowney is when they were drafted in the first couple of picks. It's not impossible but finding a replacement for Pep in 2014 doesn't look to good right now.

    Bears' possible replacements for Julius Peppers take shape
    [​IMG]
    By Brad Biggs , Tribune reporter
    Mon Mar 3 2014 7:48 PM


    The Bears would have no problem paying Julius Peppers $14 million next season if they knew he could be a game-changer every Sunday, a pass-rushing force capable of wreaking havoc on quarterbacks. They also would find a way to make his $18.1 million salary-cap hit work for that kind of presence. But at 34 and coming off a subpar season that started slow after he missed three exhibition games and a good chunk of training camp with a hamstring issue, Peppers is nearing the end.

    General manager Phil Emery has not dropped clues on what will happen with Peppers, who is signed through 2015, but given the economics involved, it's difficult to imagine him remaining on the roster much longer. A steep pay cut likely would be difficult to achieve, and the Bears might not be interested in that anyway. "Decisions are made when they need to be made," Emery said at the scouting combine.

    One could interpret that to mean Peppers, who had seven sacks in 2013, is a needed commodity until the Bears have a plan in place to improve a defense that tied for 31st in points allowed (29.9 per game), tied for last in sacks (31) and was last against the run. Releasing Peppers would create $9.8 million in cap space or nearly $14 million if the Bears spread out the dead money over two seasons.
    Free agency gets going this weekend. Teams are permitted to begin contacting agents Saturday, and the curtain on the new league year rises at 3 p.m. March 11, when signings can start.

    The options for a replacement at right end became clearer Monday, when the deadline for franchise and transition tags passed. The Panthers on Friday secured defensive end Greg Hardy, coming off a 15-sack season, with the franchise tag, and the Redskins applied the same to outside linebacker Brian Orakpo on Monday. The Steelers opted for the seldom-used transition tag with outside linebacker Jason Worilds.

    That leaves the Seahawks' Michael Bennett, the Raiders' Lamarr Houston and the Bengals' Michael Johnson as the top available ends for a 4-3 system. Johnson seems destined to find a new home, but the Raiders and Seahawks have expressed a desire to re-sign Houston and Bennett. The question is how high the price will go for these players on the open market? Will some or all be paid as elite right ends? The average guarantee in contracts for the five highest-paid pass rushers entering last season was $40.3 million.

    Bennett, the older brother of Bears tight end Martellus Bennett, excelled while playing a little less than 60 percent of the defensive snaps for the Seahawks, who used a wave of linemen in front of the NFL's most talented secondary. The 28-year-old is disruptive against the run and pass and has 66 1/2 quarterback knockdowns and hurries over the last two seasons, according to STATS. The Seahawks cut defensive lineman Red Bryant and wide receiver Sidney Rice to create room for a number of signings, one of which they hope is Bennett.

    Johnson, 27, who has a similar frame to Peppers at 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, played under the franchise tag last season, but the Bengals invested in Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap and might not pony up to keep him. While his sack total dipped from 111/2 in 2012 to 31/2, he had 31 knockdowns and hurries, 15 more than Peppers. He also had nine passes defended.

    Houston, who turns 27 in June, isn't the same pass-rushing threat at 6-3, 300, but he's tough against the run and hasn't missed a game in four seasons. The Raiders are projected to be nearly $66 million below the $133 million salary cap, the most room in the NFL, and would like to keep Houston, who had a career-high six sacks last season.

    The Bears have roughly $8.4 million in cap space before factoring in possible cuts such as Peppers and running back Michael Bush. With the flexibility in contracts for Jay Cutler, Tim Jennings and Matt Slauson to create additional space as needed, Emery won't be handcuffed if he wants a player. If the Bears can add an end and accomplish their stated goal of re-signing tackle Henry Melton, it would be a good start toward reshaping the defense.

    The top safeties also should make it to the marketplace as the Bills declined to put the franchise tag on Jairus Byrd for a second year and the Browns used the transition tag on center Alex Mack, freeing T.J. Ward. But improvements to the secondary will struggle to take root until the front is fixed.

    The Bears could fortify the line and find a more modestly priced free-agent safety while also drafting one with an eye toward revamping the secondary. Drafting a cornerback also could be a high priority; the list of standout right ends projected to be available at No. 14 is short.

    The great unknown is how high the market will go to sign one of the right ends. It figures to be a game the Bears will be in on.

    bmbiggs@tribune.com
    Twitter @BradBiggs
     
  10. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Hall of Famer

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    Our depth sucked last year. That was exposed mightily by injuries, Pep declining, Shea not advancing, and IMO Mel Tucker doing a shitty job (our young/depth guys looked just as bad at the end of the season as they did to start even after getting a lot of practice and playing time). You can argue Tuck's hands were tied by having a run a scheme he no longer has the horses for.....we will see.

    But I don't see any way you legitimately accuse the FO of "tacking a hatchet" to the defense.
     

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