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On the opening day of free agency, the Bears inked Defensive End Julius Peppers to a $91.5 million dollar deal.
The 6-foot-7 Peppers brings uncanny athletic ability but questionable consistency, along with the 81 sacks he collected in eight seasons with Carolina -- 10½ last year. In Chicago, he'll get to play alongside Lance Briggs, Urlacher and Tommie Harris and give a much-needed boost to a defense that ranked 17th overall and tied for 13th in sacks with 35.
There's no questioning his ability. He is a game changer. The Bears need his pass-rushing ability to make the Tampa-2 defense work. In 2005 & 2006, the Bears were ranked 2nd & 5th in total defense. They ranked 9th & 8th in the NFL with 41 & 40 sacks respectively. In 2008 & 2009, the Bears have had 28 sacks (22nd ranked) & 35 sacks (13th rank). Julius Peppers is being brought to Chicago to get after the quarterback; something he is very good at doing:
Julius Peppers 2009 Highlights (via SteveSmithTD89)
Please note at 3:00 when Peppers blows up Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie to envelope Favre. Hopefully we see a lot more of that this season.
Peppers can make plays from both the right and left end spot which is something he will probably do here in Chicago as well.
Photoshop by Smudgers.