Peppers inks three-year deal with divisional rivals of Bears.
The Green Bay Packers have signed defensive end Julius Peppers, after the eight-time Pro Bowler was released by the Chicago Bears earlier this week.
The defensive end agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $30m according to his agent, while the deal includes $7.5m in guaranteed money and will pay the veteran $8.5m in salary for the first year, as reported by ESPN.
Having been released by the Bears, Peppers has wasted little time in finding a new team and it will have come as a surprise to some that he has opted for his former team’s divisional rivals.
“The teams that have the good quarterbacks are the teams that win. That obviously factored into some of my decision making,” Peppers told the team’s website of joining Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Aaron. As much as I disliked chasing him around, I’m excited to join him.”
The 34-year-old insisted that the most important thing for him is to win a championship before he calls time on his career, and he believes that is a realistic objective alongside Rodgers this season.
It would undoubtedly have been a difficult decision by the Bears to release him, but by counting $18.183m against the salary cap, they ultimately deemed him too expensive to keep on the roster with Lamarr Houston arriving to replace him.
Peppers led the Bears last season with 7.5 sacks, but that was the fewest he had in Chicago after playing the last four seasons for the franchise where prior to that he had been selected by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2002 draft.
The veteran star is confident that he has “a lot left in the tank”, and after starting every game for the last four years, he will be keen to bring his ability and experience to the Packers for the remainder of his career and ultimately win the biggest prize on offer which he failed to do during his time in Chicago.