So Long Julius Peppers, Hello Michael Bennett

So Long Julius Peppers, Hello Michael Bennett

All signs point to Michael Bennett signing a contract with the Chicago Bears, helping shore up the defensive line and hopefully adding a pass rush that has lacked with the drop-off in production from Julius Peppers. The signing is reportedly going to take place on Tuesday at 4 est, the beginning of NFL free agency.

In order for the signing to happen, the Bears will almost certainly be saying goodbye to Julius Peppers and his monstrous $18.1 million contract. Cutler and Peppers together would comprise $40 million of the Bears cap space - a burden too great for them to add a player like Bennett.

Bennett won the Super Bowl with the Seahawks, wreaking havoc on quarterbacks all season long. His sack numbers were not out of this world (8.5 in 2013-2014 regular season), but he was reputed by teammates as a "monster" who affected the game with pressures, run-stopping, and big plays.

If a guy like Michael Bennett can ruin Peyton Manning's day in the biggest game of the year, the QB known for getting rid of the ball faster than any other, he most certainly will help the Bears compete for a division title in the NFC North.

Julius Peppers never truly lived up to his large contract and produced as many thought he would with Chicago, though his impact may been more in the form of being a presence that required double teams.

That presence, however, was gone last year.

Welcome to Chicago, Michael Bennett. You are a much appreciated addition.

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  • I had no problem with Peppers' production the first three seasons! But last year it was obvious that he lost a step. One thing I hated about Lovie was how he stuck with veterans as they got slower and slower - so the time is probably right to separate, though I am sad a little. Excited to see that link about Bennett being signed tomorrow!

  • I'll never forget Peppers' first game against the Packers. He wrecked the game, causing I wanna say 4 or even 5 holding penalties, blocking a field goal, and getting pressures all game. He's 34 so it was only a matter of time before he slowed down. But, he never missed a game with the Bears!

  • I wouldn't say he "never truly lived up to his large contract and produced as many thought he would with Chicago," He certainly did that first year he and two other expensive players were signed, the other two turning out toe be busts. He just got older, slower by NFL standards and enough film was available for coaches to scheme against him.

  • In reply to Icarus:

    I would have to agree - and the Bears were remarkable at overcoming their glaring holes on defense. It's not Peppers' fault that the safety play has been the worst in the NFL in Chicago for several years, and he was not the only one aging either. He also never had a true complement on the other side, and seems that every D-tackle who could command attention got hurt. I guess I just expected a monster 12 - 16 sack season out of him, and more consistency getting hurries or making plays in the run. The last two years he's been a total non-factor.

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    Hello Julius Peppers, So Long Michael Bennett. Seattle resigns Michael Bennett to a 4 year contract.

  • In reply to Mark Neustedt:

    Yep, it's a tragedy. Hoping Michael Johnson gets signed, otherwise we are in the market for an old pass rusher. Either Peppers or Jared Allen. Unless we can find the next Alonzo Spellman in the draft (kidding)

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    Wow. What signs were you reading? You may need a thicker set of glasses. Because Michael Bennett signed with Seattle, the Buccaneers signed Michael Johnson and the Bears signed Lamarr Houston after getting shut out.

  • In reply to Slick23:

    Multiple reports said the Bears would be signing Bennett today. Thanks for the update - fully aware

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