Honestly, I expected Daniel Snyder to dole out another hundred million for a defensive lineman with a history of being inconsistent. I guess Bears ownership beat him to it. Sure Julius Peppers is a talented defensive end that has the ability to change the game when he enters it, but let’s be real; he is a real pain in the backside.
Peppers whined and complained his way out of Carolina, asking for trades to New England among other places, and even threatening to sit out last season if he wasn’t traded (thankfully someone got in his ear and said “hey stupid, are you really going to give up 18 million dollars to sit at home? Wise choice). He was a big brat who was trying to get his way, and when he couldn’t, he went back to the field and did what he was supposed to do, which is destroy the quarterback. He completed this task to the tune of 10.5 sacks, two picks and five forced fumbles, which were all near the top for defense linemen in the league.
It also factored into the bears handing him 91.5 million dollars, 42 million guaranteed, to help out a porous pass rush, which suffered through its worse season since before Lovie Smith arrived. The Bears defensive leader in sacks was Adewale Ogunleye who only registered 6.5 sacks last year, which is way off if the numbers, put up by him and Alex Brown in years past. The problem still is that, that 22nd ranked run defense didn’t get better because Peppers isn’t a run stopper. He is a pass rusher that can occasionally come off of the line to step into passing lanes and make a play.
The other problem is the perception that Peppers takes plays off on the field and has a poor work ethic. There were more than a few rumblings from Carolina in the last two years that he is not the most hard working fellow on the field, so you have to wonder how that will fly with Urlacher and company in Chicago.
It might seem like an upgrade for the Bears, but in reality they really need more help on offense in terms of a receiver or two then on defense, and they missed out on Anquan Boldin while Brandon Marshall also looks like a long shot. The signing of Chester Taylor will take some pressure off of Matt Forte who comes off of a bad sophomore campaign, but it won’t be enough if they can’t make a splash in the draft. Peppers is a nice addition, but not enough to make them a player in the NFC North.