INDIANAPOLIS -- Because of the circumstances (an uncapped year, his surprising entrance into free agency, his talent) surrounding his contract signing, Julius Peppers has a rare and massive contract. He hasn't lived up to that deal as much in recent years and he's absolutely a candidate to get cut in a salary-cap move.
Bears GM Phil Emery declined to speak specifically about a contract situation, but he acknowledged that Chicago will "evaluate" Peppers this offseason, like most of the players on the roster.
"Julius is on our football team. He's under contract," Emery said. "We're coming off an 8-8 season. We have a lot to evaluate. That's what our heads at."
Peppers, as Joel Corry wrote, has a whopping $18 million cap number in 2014. The Bears could free up nearly $10 million salary-cap space by cutting Peppers, so it's not unreasonable to think they'd ultimately decide to move on from the defensive end.
It's even more reasonable when you look at his age versus his production. Peppers just turned 34 after the 2013 season and registered just 7.5 sacks for a terrible Bears defense last season.
Peppers is a great player but when your defense is that bad it's difficult to invest that much in a player on the wrong side of 30.