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Report: Free Agent Julius Peppers Agrees Three-Year Deal with Packers

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Report: Free Agent Julius Peppers Agrees Three-Year Deal with Packers

According to Josina Anderson of ESPN:

For a team that typically avoids free agency like the plague, the signing of Peppers represents the most notable transaction since the acquisition of Charles Woodson back in 2006.

Then again, Peppers was not truly an unrestricted free agent after being released by the Chicago Bears. A frequently overlooked aspect of free agency, and one that Packers general manager appears to keep in mind in his approach is the compensatory draft choice equation that rewards teams for losing more free agents to other NFL teams than they sign from other teams (of comparable value).

After losing Evan Dietrich-Smith to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, the Packers are setting themselves up to receive a late-round draft choice, assuming they don't sign another unrestricted free agent. The addition of Peppers will not change that.

According to Anderson, the Peppers deal is for a maximum of $30 million, including $7.5 million guaranteed and $8.5 million in total first-year salary.

The contract is structured in such a way that if Peppers flops, the Packers can cut him in Years 2 or 3 and have little dead money count against the salary cap. By putting the majority of money in the first season, it also gives the team salary-cap flexibility beyond 2014.

Peppers is 34 years old and saw declining production this past season for the Chicago Bears. His seven sacks are the fewest since 2007 when he had only 2.5 in 14 games with the Carolina Panthers, but he's just two years removed from a season in which he had 11.5 sacks in 2012.

From an injury standpoint, Peppers is almost never hurt. The two games missed in '07 were the only two he's missed in the last 11 seasons.

The signing of Peppers marks a significant shift in philosophy for the Packers defense under defensive coordinator Dom Capers and his 3-4 scheme.

Peppers has always been most effective as an end in a 4-3 system, but being utilized as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in the Packers' nickel and dime subpackages would not be a huge difference.

One possibility for the Packers is to run some sort of hybrid 3-4/4-3 system, featuring man principles on one side of the center and zone on the other.

Whatever happens, Peppers conceivably improves the team's pass rush, which features a variety of sub-300 lb. bodies: Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Jerel Worthy and others. The possbilities in specialized subpackages such as Capers' "Psycho" that feature only one player in a three-point stance are intriguing.

On the other hand, the Packers' front seven is starting to become relatively smallish with the exception of B.J. Raji, which could be a dentriment in goal-line in short-yardage packages. The possiblity of re-signing players such as Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly, however, can't be ruled out. And Josh Boyd is another emerging player along the defensive line.

The emergence of the "Elephant" end position in Green Bay appears to be more realistic by the day, especially in light that the Packers apparently had interest in Justin Tuck in free agency. Peppers, Perry and Neal all seem to fit the mold of a potential "Elephant" end.

The addition of Peppers certainly lessens the need for the Packers to find a pass rusher, at least in the first few rounds of the NFL draft. The Packers should be focused on adding talent in the back seven, particularly at safety and inside linebacker. With an improved pass rush, there will be a lot less pressure on a rookie safety.

After the signing of Peppers, the Packers are about $17 million under the 2014 salary cap, according to Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, still leaving space to come to extensions with wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, but there likely be little room after that.

Among the Packers' own still on the market are Pickett, wide receiver James Jones, tight end Jermichael Finley, fullback John Kuhn, running back James Starks and quarterback Matt Flynn.

Peppers will be reunited with Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, who was his defensive line coach or coordinator from 2002 to 2008.

After the Packers' loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the wildcard round of the playoffs in January, cornerback Tramon Williams talked about adding veterans to the team, and Peppers certainly does that, entering his 13th season in the NFL in 2014.


Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (103) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

4thand1's picture

Suck it Cow, that's all.

keeley2's picture

You just watch - Cow will find a way to spin this into a horrible move by TT.

HankScorpio's picture

That that you needed the prognosticating skills of Carnac the Magnificent, but you sure nailed it.

Doug In Sandpoint's picture

Haven't heard anything from Cow since CHTV went to the new format. My guess is he can't figure out the login. Or he hasn't figured out that you need to put your full handle in the "first name" section for it to show up as your handle.

Whatever it is, I'm liking it.

Idiot Fan's picture

He's here. His current name is A S , I believe.

Doug In Sandpoint's picture

Sure it wasn't A S S? Sounds more like it.
I kid though...I kid because I love Cow.

4thand1's picture

Welcome back a s s cow. Funny how you showed up just as cowpie and arloser disappeared. By the way, fuck off.

HankScorpio's picture

Peppers won't be asked to do everything for the Packers. In fact, I hope they cut his snaps from the 80% I read he logged last year. If they line him up the vast majority of the time as a traditional 3-4 DE and ask him to two-gap a lot, I think he will look like a "crusty turd".

OTOH, he's still a freakish athlete and he certainly does give them another piece to move around on defense. Like many of their other front 7 defenders. It's just way too obvious that the front 7 on defense is staffed in a manner that screams they should be "more multiple" with formations and personnel groupings. They can really keep offenses guessing and then have the talent to exploit wrong guesses.

BradHTX's picture

Making a note of this prognostication so later it can be enshrined alongside some of your other famous brilliance like "6-10."

4thand1's picture

You're so full of shit it ain't funny. Nobody predicts a star player will get hurt when making predictions. Rogers wasn't the only key player to get hurt either. As usual you lose. 62-0 I'm so far ahead of you, you think you're 1st. Why don't you just quit posting your useless dribble, crawl back in your corner, and move to a 3rd world country where you'll have no access to a computer and internet access.

4thand1's picture

Wrong again, 63-0

DrealynWilliams's picture

This made too much to sense not to happen. The news caused a tear to roll down my face. Now,I do worry about rush-D (as of now),but that might/should be addressed via the draft. I can't wait to see Clay,Peppers,Neal and Daniels to get after QB's from all types of angles.

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

I said no way when I saw it. At least fans can stop the TT has done nothing rant.

HankScorpio's picture

I'm still not sure I believe it.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Just thought about it:

Packers gift to Bears: MD Jennings

Bears gift to Packers: Julius Peppers

4thand1's picture

Forgive them Mr. Halas, they know not what they do.

Mojo's picture

He may be older, but this instantly gives the Packers much more respect as a pass-rushing team. He still has to be accounted for. I always liked Peppers and am pleased with this signing.

gary's picture

I have been bashing TT on ever site I can. But this move showed me TT has balls. Aggressive move for a 34yo player but these moves can change the personality of your defense. Congrats Mr. Thompson. Well done. Go Pack!!!!!!!!!!!

4thand1's picture

This really kills me to give you a like.

Idiot Fan's picture

Finally the veteran to play safety that we've all been waiting for!!!

Allan Murphy's picture

WHO ????

olwig420's picture

Well....This is good I guess. I was kind of hoping for the little bit younger, recently more productive Jared Allen. My guess is the Bears try to pick up Allen to replace the under producing Peppers.

ben's picture

me too.......
Jared Allen has 71 sacks the last 5 years. Peppers has 48. (clay, 50) Allen is also 2-3 years younger than peppers. He also has more passion and that ever so important motor.

After a flawless beginning to free-agency, this is back to back mistakes by Ted. The 1st mistake was letting the tax rate between FLA & WI be the difference in insuring the protection and availability of the entire franchise, Aaron Rodgers.

Thee Path to the Draft
X FA signing, Sam Shields, - check
X FA signing, Neal or Melton, - check
X FA signing, Quarless, - check
(f) FA signing, EDS (2 years, 8.5 million) - FAIL
X RFA signing, Lattimore, - check
X FA signing, Jared Allen (2 year, 19 million) [or Julius Peppers, I guess]
#7 FA signing, S: Chris Clemons (2 year, 8.5 million) or S: Jim Leonhard
X FA signing, Raji,(< $4 million) - check
#9 FA signing, Devin Hester (2 year, 4 million)
#10 FA signing, Matt Flynn (less than Tolzien) *optional*
#11 FA signing, James Starks (2 year, 3.75 million) *optional*
#12 FA singing, Jolly

DrealynWilliams's picture

Let me guess,you'll put Jared Allen at Outside Linebacker,right?

ben's picture

good boy drealyn

wharrington's picture

This is OUTSTANDING NEWS for Packer fans. He is a LEGIT pass rusher. With a healthy Worthy, Perry, Hawk, Matthews and now Peppers, this is outstanding news for fans concerned about improving our D. If we can get some help in the secondary via the draft, this team has a REAL SHOT at something special next season. For all those who BASH TT by sitting on his heals, this should be applauded.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

We all realize that he would have lead the Packers in sacks last year right?

But, that isn't even that best part of this signing. He has the length to actually hold his ground at DE in the 3-4, and is actually a very good run defender and very good at creating opertunites for others to get pressure.

But, even that isn't even that best part of this signing. He is an excellent leader with the clout to get guys to listen to what he has to say. This is his last shot to win a SuperBowl, he is a drop in relpacement for the void of leadership created when Woodson left.

I really like it. Now just get an above replacement Safety, and my waining confidence will be restored.

Oh and also, a nice big suck it to the Bears!

jeremyjjbrown's picture

One more thing. Peppers will tell Raji to stop pouting and get his lumpy, lazy ass in gear

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Excuse me if I take Phil Emery's word over yours.

HankScorpio's picture

Most importanly, TT can take Mike Trgovac's word on Peppers. Trgovac was his DC in Carolina for a while. TT can get the whole unvarnished story that might not make its way into the press due to professional discretion.

TT recently said he values the locker room and tries to be careful about who he brings into it. He watches from the sidelines in preseason to see how guys interact with each other. It's a big deal to him that the locker room is a healthy environment.

So we know the Packers are very concerned about what kind of teammates they bring in. They know exactly what they're bringing in with Peppers.

Good enough for me.

jmac34's picture

Now Ted Thompson needs to borrow the time machine from Bill and trade this Peppers with the one from 6 years ago.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Thank you!!! I don't know how some could even imagine a 6 foot 7 290 pound outside linebacker. Barring a horrible draft (and injuries of course),Dom Capers has NO EXCUSE not to have a damn good defense. I wonder how this affects our draft board,if at all. Ahhhh,I want to talk Packers all day.

Idiot Fan's picture

Yep. Peppers is like a slightly taller Watt (who is 6'5", 289 pounds). I'm very curious to see what he can do at DE.

In general I'm not a huge fan of big free agency signings, and for sure this could be Hardy Nickerson 2.0, but this deal seems like it has a huge amount of potential upside, while the cost or potential downside seems very manageable. I'm pretty pumped about this.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Hardy Nickerson was totally miscast as an MLB. We was a smaller, very fast attacking player. In the Packers 2002 4-3 the MLB needed to be a big thumper. Julius Peppers is a perfect 3-4 DE. I'm not sure why Brian is saying he will be the Elephant End, or an OLB when their are other guys much better suited to that position. Peppers is going to play a JJ Watt, Justin Smith type roll. He should be the 3 down lineman they have been looking for since Cullen Jenkins left.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I agree with everything other than the 3-down lineman part. He is up in age and I think the reason behind his subpar season with the Bears came from his increased snap count. They had injuries up and down that D-Line. Don't get me wrong,I think he could play run downs as well,but let's not pretend we have the Peppers from the SB contender Panthers.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

By three down player I mean capable of playing in all of the packages, not necessarily every downs. Peppers did play 81.7% of the Bears Defensive snaps in 2013, and he had 5.5 sacks in the second part of the season. I think his increase came from losing Melton for the year and McClellin not really being a three down player.

DrealynWilliams's picture

865 snaps in 2013 = 7 sacks

797 snaps in 2012 = 11.5 sacks

different factors of course,but he doesn't need to be "The Man" here. He should see more one-on-one match-ups here as well. Keep Peppers fresh throughout the entire season. No need for him to be an every down lineman at this stage of his career. It takes a toll.....

DrealynWilliams's picture

Oh,well in that case,we're on the same page. I too think he's gifted/talented enough to play just about any position throughout the D-Line and all packages. Dom better make it work.

ben's picture

Yep. How about Larry Sanders? He's even taller. Or that other tall guy. He'd be awesome, he's really tall. I'd be super curious to see what they could do.

Peppers struggled against the run and to hold the point as a 4-3 DE. He's going to struggle even more trying to play DE in a 3-4. Yes, DT too.

Stoh got into your damn head with all his height requirements to play certain positions bullarky. Like height has anything to do with anything when it's all said and done. Makes me want to puke.

DrealynWilliams's picture

**High Five**

White92's picture

Yep. It will give another year for Datone to season. By the time Peppers is really finished, Datone should be hitting his stride.

ben's picture

Awareness is more important than length. Understanding scheme is more important than length. Quickness is more important than length. Agility is more important than length. Explosiveness is more important than length. Anticipation is more important than length. Strength is more important than length. Technique is more important than length. Preparation & study is more important than length. Speed is more important than length. Effort is more important than length.

None of the above vital attributes can work against you. But length can. In the trenches, who ever stays lower usually wins. It's tough to get good pad level when your 6'7".

But let's all just pretend that length is a main determining factor on whether somebody can play. Bryan Bulaga can't play offensive tackle. His arms are to short. Mike Daniels, Josh Boyd, BJ Raji, TJ Lang, and Datone Jones.....No Good, Short Arms.

Give me a freaking break

Nashville Packer's picture

A healthy Matthews + Peppers + Daniels + improved Datone + improved Neal/Perry = ferocious pass rush. Not even all of those variables have to come together for this to happen. Nice signing.

TomPatterson's picture

This is why there's such little point in mock drafts prior to free agency. A week ago, most of us wanted any variety of Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Louis Nix, Aaron Donald, or Eric Ebron in round 1. Now what? Well, now that we resigned Shields, it appears Micah Hyde is headed for SS. Might be a great fit. Raji's contract gives us less of a need for that big body run stuffer (assuming he fills his potential), retaining Quarless (even though I'm not sold on him) maybe makes Ebron less important? And now Peppers. Now what do we with round 1? Trade it down!! LOL!

Imma Fubared's picture

Scary thought. What if the Bears know something about Peppers the Pack don't and we know something about MD Jennings the bears don't. I say LOL but were paying a lot for our side of the joke.

Now, I would love us to get the shore up middle linebacker or that shut down corner or safety but there is a guy named Cook. Ran a 4.3 40, cut's on a dime and catches the ball. As the analyst said, he is scary good.

I say, lets take him as our 1 and put him and Cobb on the field together with Jordy going deep. It would be like having two Percy Harvins coming at you at the same time.
Not enough defenders to even come close to covering these guys and also accounting for Lacy coming at you. This would be fun to see.

Maybe we won't need no freekin defensive guys.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Lol,I stopped reading after the first paragraph.

Phatgzus's picture

Yes, and what if the Packers have been the far better team for the past 2 decades and have 2 more SBs in that time than the Bears? Wouldn't you trust the evaluation of winners more than losers?

ben's picture

Brandin Cooks is a Top 12 player in entire draft. Proven, but still under-rated. Very good chance he's the best player available at 21.

ben's picture

Cooks: 4.33 40, 3.81 shuttle, 6.76 cone, 36 vert, 10'00'' ft jump
Cobb : 4.46 40, 4.34 shuttle, 7.08 cone, 33 vert, 09'07" ft jump

Cooks: College receiving yards: 3272 yards
Cobb: College receiving yards: 1661 yards

Cooks is a much more proven and established WR prospect coming out of college. He is thee most explosive player in the entire draft. He is quicker, more agile, more explosive, & more than "slightly" faster than Randall Cobb as far as top end speed.

Cobb was a late 1st, early 2nd round prospect.
Cooks is a solid 1st round prospect in "ANY" draft.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

I agree with this signing. I was hoping for a DE to compliment Mathews. I hope that's what they have in mind for Peppers. He should have at least 1 Good year, if not 2 left in him, unless we don't know something, & I doubt that. The way this contract is structured, it could be a 1 year deal, without much of a hit to the Pack. $8 Mill for a good DE, If that's what I read for the 1st year is a bargain. I would think this addition alone, will help the secondary. It's what we've been missing for a quality Pass Rush. Get 1 good IL yet & I'll be Happy. Oh yeah, Bring JJ back as well. He's worth what he will cost. JMO

4thand1's picture

He came a block away from the bearsstillsuck winning the NFCN. If that would have been Manning in the pocket he would have went down. Rodgers got out of their quick and hit Cobb. Now I gotta go crow hunting for cowpie.

Idiot Fan's picture

Thank you for allowing me to relive that play again. Man, the noise that came out of my mouth when that happened...

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Where is ClowNey?? I actually miss him. When there wasn't much on TV, I could always count on a good show between you guy's & him. I miss that.

4thand1's picture

Cowpie Clowney same douchebag

Clay Zombo's picture

Exciting move even though hes 34, at least it tells me TT and company are serious about improving the defense.

Now they just need to sign Devin Hester and the draft awaits to fill other needs.

Since released players don't count against the comp pick equation, maybe TT needs to sign a Roman Harper or Thomas Decoud at safety who were released by the Saints and Falcons. Good a good vet to play and maybe mentor Hyde and Burnett and any rookies they add to the position.

Evan's picture

I really like this move - I don't see why he can't play DE, as others have said, but also think he'll be moved around a lot.

I do think Brian's concerns about the overall size of the DL might be an issue - they could probably use another 300+ guy...but that's what the draft is for. Or Jolly.

This article about Peppers always wanting to play in the 3-4 also gives me hope:

Winning team, last chance at a ring, some revenge against the Bears, scheme he's always wanted to play...I like his chances of having a big year.

ben's picture

Yea, Peppers was all excited to play in the 3-4 to play DE.

I don't think so. OLB LOL

Phatgzus's picture

You may just be the worst talent evaluator of any person on the planet over the age of 5. A 300-LB OLB? Okay there buddy.

ben's picture

Just informing you that Julius did say that he'd be excited to play in a 3-4. But it was to play OLB, not to play DE. Just stating that fact, for your dumb ass.

You do know what facts are?

What's that? Peppers 300lbs? Guess not

aye buddy?

4thand1's picture

I don't care where he plays. He's a Packer and will help CMIII. No more constant double teams. I see 15+ sacks for Clay.

4thand1's picture

Prediction, this will receive the most posts ever . But none by arloser and cowpie.

4thand1's picture

A s s is scrolling through all the posts hitting the dislike button.........lmfao.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Another note that goes unmentioned is how many career INT's Julius Peppers has. It's near double digits. 8 or 9 I believe.

DrealynWilliams's picture

And blocked field goals. This is a win-win in so many different ways. I laugh at the Jared Allen suggestions.

4thand1's picture

Peppers should be highly motivated. He played on one of the worst defenses in Bears history last year. With Rodgers on his team instead of Cutler he has a chance of getting to the big dance. One big piece of the puzzle, now strengthen the middle.

RCPackerFan's picture

Also having Mathews next to him commanding a lot of attention it should open things up for Peppers. Which now with Mathews and Peppers getting a lot of attention it should open up more for the other guys.

Allan Murphy's picture


ben's picture

3-4 Run


Nickel Run


3-4 Pass


Nickel Pass


4-3 run


4-3 Nickel


4thand1's picture

caw, caw, caw, caw, caw, caw, caw..hows it taste?^^^^^a s s

Ruppert's picture

I may have missed this part in your myriad of comments, but who is/are the free agent(s) we should have signed instead? Seriously, I'm just curious as to your thoughts on this. Like everybody, I wanted Jairus Byrd, but we all knew the Pack wouldn't spend that kind of money.

There are some guys in our price range that I want(ed) to see, though. Buffalo paid Brandon Spikes $3.25 mil. this year. Tell me how spending $3.26 mil on this guy wouldn't be an upgrade over Brad Jones.

Although I don't watch the Ravens a lot, I'd like to see James Ihedigbo come to town.

I don't see Peppers as a "high profile," "blockbuster" type signing at all like the press is portraying. $26 million guaranteed to Aqib Talib is a high profile blockbuster signing.

We basically gambled $8 million on a 1 year upgrade to the D line pass rush. Even with his eroded skills, I think this is still an upgrade to the pass rush DE position opposite Clay, which has been MIA since we let Cullen walk. It's probably not an upgrade against the run, but IMO it doesn't need to be. I think he'll be rotated out in obvious run sets. And yes, I'm well aware that our D still needs help (safety big time, ILB, another D lineman, OLB depth).

The Pack not only has the cap space, but they are well run from the business side and profitable. It shouldn't be that painful to throw out a one year, $8 mil gamble. I like it.

HankScorpio's picture

Peppers takes the versatility of their front 7 to a level that can be very effective if used correctly. Guys like Perry, Neal and Peppers can play with their hands up or down. That means they can show anything from 1-4 man DL fronts as a situation might dictate. They can play the 3-4/4-3 hybrid defense. They can play a traditional 3 man DL with 3 guys with a little NT in them for run situations. If they are really going to be "more multiple" on defense, this FA season has surely given Capers the tools to do exactly that.

There is still plenty of cap room to sign another player to help the back middle of the defense. I'd like to see ILB. I'd happily settle for a Safety. Both would be better but I feel greedy for advocating for one more FA signing. But helping the back middle of the defense prior to the draft would really free them up to follow where ever their draft board takes them.

MarkinMadison's picture

Exactly. Take a strong look at the ILBs that are out there. And there may be more salary cap casualties to come. I was thinking TT would add to quality FAs. One down, one to go.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

The cap hit for Peppers for this year is estimated to be $5.25 million, leaving around $15.7 or so. Subtract $2-3 million for draft choices, and GB has around $13 million left. GB likes to keep quite a bit, plus need to extend several current players. TT surprised me by signing Peppers. I suppose we could afford one more mid-tier FA. If TT likes an ILB or S, maybe. Not sure who is left among ILB. At S, Clemons I suppose. I am not sure if TT is waiting on Clemons or is just done. TT might even look at TE or other position still. Time will tell.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I have looked around for information on the salary details without finding anything firm. JS Online and Green Bay Gazette are reporting a cap hit for 2014 of $3.5. reported an estimated cap hit of $5.25 million for 2014. It has been consistently reported that Peppers will receive $8.5 Million in 2014, with $7.5 guaranteed, 3 years and $30 million max. One way for Peppers to actually receive $8.5 million in the first year and still count only $3.5 on the cap is for the $7.5 million to be a signing bonus with $2.5 million therefore counting against the 2014 cap, plus $1million base. That would leave $5 million in dead money if cut after one year. But, the details should come out in a day or two, and I am not here to argue about whether it is a roster bonus or some other structure. I too would love to see TT sign Clemons (cheap). I am just trying to see if GB can still afford Clemons at safety, or some other FA.

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

I remember the Packers signing this 6'7" 275lb. 32 yr. old 11 yr. vet back in 1994. He was able to balance a rush for the other old guy who was then 33 yrs. old. Turned out pretty well back then.

People worried about JP's age need not worry. The traits of a defensive lineman aren't affected by age as say a linebacker, corner or safety. These guys play in a confined space and don't need to cover ground like the skill area players on a defense. Plenty of defensive linemen (good ones at that) have played in to their mid to late 30's and have been very productive. For example, Michael Strahan was 36 when he won his only championship. That year he had 9 sacks and 57 total tackles. In his 8th year, argubly the prime of his career, he had 9 sacks in 16 games. This notion that Peppers is washed up and will be ineffective is shallow thinking and ignores data and history of the position.

Additionally, the idea Peppers won't be asked to rush from the edge or drop as the Bronco or Final 3 player on firezones completely ignores the fact he was doing this last year under Mel Tucker. Peppers is a rare specimen even at 34. Goes to show why he was the 2nd overall pick in 2002. One of his best skill sets is his ability to jump backside on zone blocks (i.e. short stick) toward him and have the quickness to disrupt the POA.

Peppers will be used as a 5 tech in the base Under alignments, as a 3 tech in any Over fronts, as a a wide 5 in any 4 down lineman looks and as a 3 tech in the nickel. He will drop in firezones and he will rush. The only thing you might see is a reduction in snaps to preserve longevity but that is a stretch when you consider his overall relative health throughout his career.

This is a fantastic signing by Thompson because it is better than average value considering the terms of the contract. It has more upside than downside. At worst it is a 1 year rental on the cheap considering the caliber of athlete. Signing EDS to a similar deal as he received in Tampa Bay would have been a terrible deal. The fan that wants Ted to spend on every possible mid-level free agent doesn't understand that by doing so you aren't necessarily getting value compared to all of the other factors considered including the draft. Thompson is the best at managing the cap to keep the team viable. It would be great to sign a Reggie White caliber player but those guys don't exist anymore because teams lock those guys up. I would have loved to see Byrd in the secondary but he's not worth 9 million a year just as EDS is not worth 3.5 per year with half of the contract guaranteed. Peppers is definitely worth the 7.5 and 3.5 he'll count against the cap this year. Watch for the Packers to bolster the middle of the defense this year through the draft. Mosely or Dix are the best to address the Packers soft middle. Pryor is fine but Dix is a better middle field safety which is what the Packers need since the Packers are best when they run a fair amount of single high shell.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Great post...

"I would have loved to see Byrd in the secondary but he's not worth 9 million a year"

So do you think Sam Shields is worth 9.75mil per?

Paul Ott Carruth's picture

No but it has more to do with how the salary cap works and what is available in the draft. Safety is deep this year. There are few good corners this year. Besides, while it averages out to this, it really comes down to cap hit and possible dead money should either be released. Both are comparable in terms of dead money but the Saints have to ride the train longer as compared to Packers. If after year 2 Shields is playing up to his contract the Packers may be incline to pay him the 12 million he'll count against the cap. If he's not the Packers will ask him to restructure and take less in base salary. If he refuses he'll be released and the Packers will be left with 6.25 million in dead money and take a cap hit in 2016. But remember, the cap is projected rise and with the money Thompson usually carries over from year to year it may be negligible. The Saints on the other hand will be on the hook for the guaranteed money owed to Byrd through 2017 as he gets 26 million in guaranteed money. If they release him they will have 4.4 million in dead money for 2017. This may hurt a team like the Saints who seem to be near the top of the cap. Both Byrd and Shields are most likely going to play half of the length of their contracts (3 of 6 for Byrd and 2 of 4 for Shields). In two years what will the incoming draft class of corners look like? What will the safeties look like? So to answer your Shields isn't a 9.75 million corner in terms of talent. In terms of familiarity, productivity, draft classes, cap management etc. it was a much better move than signing Byrd.

4thand1's picture

Apparently the packers do. He's been there from the start, they know what they have as a player what type of guy he is in and out of the locker room. If they didn't sign him he would've been gone. Young fast and entering his prime. He should only get better. He's proven he can cover the big NFCN receivers.

ben's picture


EDS was not only worth $3.5/year, but $4.5 million / year. For 2 years.

Center's are vital and hard to come by. EDS was 8th best in the NFL, and improving with more upside to be had. The packers have Zero centers & nobody with any real experience at the position. Their primary fall-back is a guy without a snap in the NFL, who's never played center, and is already returning from injury.

Offering EDS an extra few hundred thousand a year could have gone a long way in ensuring the health & the foreseeable future of the franchise, who is Aaron Rodgers.

Not bringing EDS back is a mistake. At best, a drop off of play at center and possibly RG. At worst, when Aaron Rodgers and Ted Thompson sustain a career-ending injury.

Signing Julius Peppers won't prove to be a mistake. But signing him instead of Jared Allen very well could.

Dix and Mosely are not the best options in shoring up the middle of the Packer's defense.

4thand1's picture

I bet they draft a center. 5th or 6th

Jordan's picture

Packers are always looking for late round Guards that can play guard or center. Like a Caleb Schlauderoff. Maybe they'll find an EDS or Schauderoff in the undrafted free agent pool.

Probably G/C in round 5-7. Just depends on the board and value at that point.

HankScorpio's picture

I believe they have drafted at least one OL every year of Thompson's tenure. As they should. 5 OL play every down. With normal roster turnover, there is always the need to keep young talent coming into the system.

I don't expect 2014 will be any different despite 5 guys with previous starting experience and a couple of youngsters that may yet prove to be decent players.

RCPackerFan's picture

Thompson's tendency is to draft a T in the 4th-5th round and convert him to G or C if they can't play T. It is almost a guarantee that he will draft an o-lineman in the draft somewhere, but probably in the middle rounds.
He has had some good luck in the 4th round so I can see him drafting one in the 4th round again this year.

ben's picture

Why would he take a 2 year deal over a 4 year deal. To make more than $3.5 million / year? To stay home where he's built up a good working relationship and is familiar with the system. To free himself up for another payday in 2 years, most likely giving him extra career payday. OR to win a farging Championship!, maybe?
5 good reasons, but for Stroh's sake let's just go with that "makes no sense" or that's "asinine."

Stoh, "Trettor is more talented, bigger, & stronger."
Reality, " EDS is quicker, more agile, & stronger."
(not to mention better)

EDS had a better 10 yard dash, a better 20 yard dash, a better 3 cone, a better shuttle, and did better on the bench press than Trettor.

Stroh, "EDS is as good as he would ever get."?

This is the kind of crap stroh spews out here. Do you think if you write it, it makes it true? It doesn't, it make you a liar.

Your a schmuck stroh. A dishonest schmuck.

Evan's picture

Good catch...I was giggling about "smuck."

ben's picture

you smuck

Evan's picture

ha...thumbs up.

ben's picture

pick 1:

#1) 2 year, $4.5 million / year, $7.25 guaranteed
(When in 2 years you'll be a 29 year old FA in line for a much bigger pay day. Where you know the scheme inside and out with one of the greatest QB's to ever play the game. On an annual Superbowl favorite)

#2) 4 year, $3.5 million / year, $7.25 guaranteed
(For one of the worst franchises in sports history, wIth mike glennon or josh mcClown)

Stroh, "Dude your a fool! Players want security. " ?

What happened to Julius pepper's security? jarred allen's? The buc's own Derrelle Revis?

Stroh,"You don't know squat about what players want when they're FA....."

such a smuck

ben's picture

"EDS is decent but gets overpowered too easily. Did pretty well pass blocking but his run blocking left something to be desired!"

He's the 8th ranked center in the entire league. Does he have to be top 5 to be considered not "decent."?

(You do know we just rushed for 230 more yards than we have in a decade with a rookie at left tackle and an 1 year undrafted Free agent at right tackle.)

EDS is quicker, more agile, and stronger than Tretter. EDS is 27, the same age as Lang. Yet somehow EDS is "as good as he'll ever be," while Tretter, "has all upside" at a position he's never played, on a level he's never played at. Weird.

The biggest difference between EDS and Tretter may be their dependability. EDS never misses a game, Tretter has missed all of them.

But for the record I don't think not resigning EDS is a "big" mistake. I think tretter and Barclay could both one day be as good as EDS is right now. Just not in the next 1.5 years and quite possibly ever. A mistake on par with signing Julius Peppers instead of the younger and much more productive Jared Allen.

Nerd's picture

Peppers is gonna play the elephant position. He's gonna teach Datone Jones, Mike Neal and Nick Perry how to get it done.

Allan Murphy's picture


gary's picture

The packers have to game plan against Peppers twice a year. They know his strengths pretty well. I have to believe the will utilize him to the best of his ability. He brings a lot of intangibles to this defense. No matter how it works out , it is definitely work the risk of signing him. Thanks Mr. Thompson . Go Pack

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Not the signing I expected, but hopefully Peppers still has something left. Anyone would lose their mojo playing for the Bears.

Allan Murphy's picture


4thand1's picture

#90 is gone, Raji ate it.

Allan Murphy's picture


4thand1's picture

Depends on who makes the team.

jinxcat's picture

remember Reggie White? he was way past his prime when we got him. he proved to be very helpful.

4thand1's picture

WTF, LMAO. Must be your opposite twin.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Reggie was a couple years younger and a hundred times better. I still like the Peppers signing, though.

HankScorpio's picture

Reggie was a better player. No doubt. He was far more consistently dominant that Peppers ever was.

But the comparison between Peppers and Reggie is a good one, IMO. Reggie was an athletic freak of nature, just like Peppers. That Reggie played well deep into the back half of his 30s suggests that Peppers can as well. I'm not expecting Peppers to gain consistency he hasn't shown previously. But I am expecting he can still flash dominance like he has done throughout his career.

Ray Fadroski's picture

I got on a Bears site to read the comments from the bear fans about Peppers. I read what I expected. A bunch of sour grapes comments. One guy said he was over paid. I guess he doesn't realize he counts more against the Bears cap this year than the Packers cap.

Allan Murphy's picture

that's funny lol

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