Chicago Sun-Times

Putting Peppers deal in perspective

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The Bears, indeed, did go "hog wild" on Friday, the first day of free agency.

The club committed more than $53 million in guarantees to secure three 30-year-old players.

But most of the money -- and the attention -- goes to defensive end Julius Peppers.

He signed a six-year, $91.5 million deal that includes $42 million in guarantees. In the first year, he'll make $20 million.

We'll see if the $91.5 million is real (the total compensation can easily be inflated, with absurdly high base salaries in the latter years). But if the $42 million in guarantees is legit, then Peppers actually topped defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

Last year, Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins on the first day of free agency. The deal could be worth as much as $115 million, based on incentives, and guaranteed him $41 million.

That Peppers topped that final number while committed to fewer seasons would be a victory.

Here are the terms of two other elite defensive ends.

Dwight Freeney of the Indianapolis Colts set the bar in 2007 with a six-year, $72 million deal that included $30 million in guarantees. At the time, the deal made Freeney the league's highest paid defensive player.

In 2008, Jared Allen signed a six-year, $72.36 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings that included $31 million in guarantees.

Although he's technically a linebacker, DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys signed a seven-year, $79 million contract that included $40 million in guarantees.

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True, Ware is a LB, but the contracts for big time 3-4 OLBs and 4-3 DEs are usually pretty close, because you are valuing the same things (sacks, pass rush). I think the $40M for Ware and the $41 million for Big Albert were the drivers here. The yearly salary average was already out there, that it had to be close to $15 mil per year, so the Bears knew what the bar was set to.

Great deal for Peppers, and a good deal for the Bears. If he plays like he is capable of for the next 3 years until the guaranteed money is done, we should be seeing 30-45 sacks over that time frame, which would make it worth the money.

Just saw that Kampmann is in Jacksonville for a visit. At least he isn't going to the Vikings...

Yeah its incentive based, but have you ever watched how the Bears hand out their bonuses? They have no problem giving these guys unearned money. Harris is a perfect example look at the bonus money they have been giving him the last two years.

I don't care what they spent on Peppers, its their money, but I am starting to wonder if they could have spent a lot more wisely. To begin with they put themselves in a bad situation by being horrible in the draft. Now they were forced to go out and spend huge amounts of money cause they were all bad at their jobs. I don't reacall the last time something like this helped Washington. In fact all the teams that have been winning Super Bowl's have gotten their by drafting well.

Right now I think they spent a lot of money to be mediocre. Not to mention their was no original thought in this, they just keep trying to copy what the Bucs did in 2001-02. When they signed Simeon Rice, except Rice was three years younger at the time. But still Rice and Peppers are basically the same player, with the same set of tools and the same faults. They are still trying to build the 2002 Bucs, problem is we don't have Sapp, Lynch, Jackson or Barber.

I've hd the pleasure of watching BOTH Ware and Freeney play and they are off the chain great.Besides the level of talent that they have, they have been surrounded by immense talent so that their teams can maximize their potential. Ifa DC attempts to contain Ware, the Cowboys have the luxury of using Spencer, Ratliff, or Burnett. They didn't place their entire defensive hope on one player (which is very wise) and they get high production. I actually read an article whereas people criticized the Cowboys for not going after Peppers and the writer told the candid truth:he would rarely play. Even though I'm a Bears fan, I enjoy watching those two stellar athletes play and live up to their billing on a weekly basis and their respective teams did a great job on the defensive talent.

I woulda thought for sure that Angelo had learned his lesson on spending big money for players with only a year or two left on their tires by now. Aging players has been partof the problem the last few years not part of the solution.

It is amazing what the Bears have invested on this position in recent years (and I'm not counting the 2003 selecting Michael Haynes in the 1st round):

2006 drafted Anderson in the 5th round
2007 traded Thomas Jones and 2nd round pick to move up in 2nd round and draft Dan Bazuin
2009 drafted Gilbert (who may be moving back to DE this year) in 3rd round and Henry Melton in 4th
2009 traded 2010 2nd round for Gaines Adams

With the exception of getting one good year out of Anderson, this has been a disaster. No wonder why the Bears needed to spend $42 million in guarantees for Peppers. I like Peppers on the Bears now - I think he should be real good for the next 4 years - but Angelos really needs to draft much better (Duh!!!).

Now that running back and DE have been taken care of, safety and o-line are next. When Bill Parcells was with the Giants, he used to identify a weakness and spend one draft just drafting it to death. One year they needed DBs and he drafted a whole bunch, and the next year he needed WRs and he spent a whole bunch of picks on wide outs. The Bears have already invested heavily in the draft for safety over the years (with the same success rate as DE) so it would be tempting to try to pick up a free agent. However, how many 30+ year olds can we have on defense? The draft is loaded with safties and offensive linemen - spend either a 3rd or 4th rounder on a safety (or 2nd or 3rd if the Bears trade Olsen and get a 2nd rounder) and then spend most the rest of the draft picks selecting linemen to protect Cutler in Martz's offense. Oh no, I'm starting to sound like "Protect the Quarterback" who used to post here before last years draft...

To build on Creighton's and partyUp's posts, you don't build a good team JUST by getting good players. Look at the L.A. Angels under Gene Autry or the current Washington team. Rich owners can buy good players, but a good team is more than just a collection of good players. The talents and skills of the players also have to fit the schemes of the coaches, and the coaches need to have good schemes, develop young talent, and get the most out of their players. In turn, the management has to hire good coaches and get those coaches good young players to develop, and ownership has to hire the right management to get this all done. And above all, there has to be a winning culture and attitude on the team and in management.

What the Bears did was to try to fix problems by dealing with symptoms instead of causes. While it seems that the addition of Peppers and the others should improve the team, the Bears got two games worse after getting Cutler, who's clearly superior to Orton at the single most important position. I'm happy the Bears got Peppers and the others and I can fantasize Super Bowl chances with the best of them. But my expectation is that it will just be more of the same until change is made at the top, starting with Ted Phillips.

T Dawg I don't know if Olsen is going anywhere for a second anymore not after Boldin got traded for what is basically a third round pick. The only way Olsen goes for a second is if a team like the Pats on draft day are using one of their 3 2nd round picks on a TE and happen to think Olsen is better. If the Bears are lucky the TE they want Gresham will be gone. Welker may not be ready to go and I think the Pats want Olsen but are trying to wait the Bears down to a 3rd round pick. Could come down to a draft day deal. The good news is the top three TE's in the draft have all had major injuries in the last year and Olsen is exactly what the Pats want a TE who can play the slot and is athletic with good size. He fits that spread TE mold that the Pats like.

I agree, I am happy with the signings, but, we still need O-Linemen help, and a safety. Maybe the guy from St. Louis. And, maybe we need to go after Rob Sims of Denver, only 28 yrs old, 5 yrs in the league, plays guard. Would only cost us a 4th round pick.
But, what I think this shows is that anjello & luvy were given the ultimatum. Win or else.
I will be much happier next year when the 3 stooges are fired, and replaced with Bill Cowher.
Just an opinion!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on March 5, 2010 11:56 PM.

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