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Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Bears restructure Peppers' contract

By Michael C. Wright

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers restructured his contract Tuesday in a move to create more salary-cap room for team, according to documents obtained by ESPN.com.

Peppers
The Bears converted $3 million of Peppers’ base salary ($12.9 million) into a signing bonus ($3 million), which reduces his base salary for 2013 to $9.9 million. The move creates $2 million in salary-cap space for the Bears, and reduces the defensive end’s cap charge from $16.387 million this season to $14.387 million.

The deal marks the second time Peppers has restructured his deal as a Chicago Bear.

“I don’t really know what to say to that,” Peppers said when asked about the restructured contract. “You can analyze it how you want to. I guess it’s confirmed. That’s not my area. You’ve got to talk to [general manager] Phil [Emery] about that.”

In Year 4 of a six-year deal worth $84 million, Peppers previously restructured his contract on Feb. 23, 2011, and saved the team approximately $8 million in salary-cap space. At the time, Peppers was due a $10.5 million roster bonus, but the Bears restructured the deal to reduce his cap number from $12 million to $4.3 million. The club converted that $10.5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus to prorate that money over the life of the deal.

The latest move by the Bears provides only temporary relief. With the restructured deal, Peppers’ cap numbers over the final two years of his contract rise. In 2014, Peppers’ cap number grows from $17.183 million to $18.183 million. In 2015, Peppers’ cap number grows to $20.683 million.