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The Bears Den: March 17, 2014 - Chicago Bears free agency news & notes

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Man, those Panthers fans were petty and pathetic, weren't they?

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Geoff Burke

So what if Peppers picked Packers? - Barry Rozner: The Bears did what they had to do in order to sign several players with the money saved by cutting Peppers. That the Packers signed him changes nothing.

Bears mailbag - Q. Why don't the Bears try to trade Shea McClellin while he still has value left? Michael C. Wright: ...He still has value left?

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Julius Peppers signs with Packers: reaction and analysis

Julius Peppers finds new home with Packers - Bob LeGere: 12-year veteran is Green Bay's first major free-agent signing since they added Charles Woodson in 2006. Michael C. Wright: Will be reunited with former D-line coache Mike Trgovac.

Bears-Packers rivalry gets a new spark with Peppers signing - Chris Boden: We'll now learn first-hand whether his skills were, in fact, diminishing or whether his inconsistent play and subpar numbers were a byproduct of the injuries and inexperience the D-line had to deal with.

Peppers should give Packers' D a boost - Rob Demovsky: There's plenty still to be learned, including how much the eight-time Pro Bowl DE still has left at age 34 and where exactly he will play in Dom Capers' 3-4 defensive scheme. Jason La Canfora: Peppers right fit for Packers.

Packers will get a motivated Peppers - Michael C. Wright: A league source said Peppers gave the Bears only six to eight solid snaps per game, and the belief was the defense could consistently get better effort from less accomplished players.

Did the Bears make the right call in letting Peppers go? - Chris Boden: The impression left by Phil Emery was that he needed more consistent play from Peppers in 2013 than the "now-you-see-him, now-you-don't" production provided by the eight-time Pro Bowler.

Bears right on Peppers and Tillman - David Haugh: Bringing Tillman back made the modest goal of a mid-tier defense more attainable. Letting Peppers go, even to the Packers, to spread the savings around made it all possible.

Peppers' exit from Bears likely about more than just money - Moon Mullin: What the Bears desperately needed from Peppers was a max-effort every single week to carry a defense that was reeling for virtually the entire second half of the season. They didn’t get it and ultimately couldn’t count on him when they needed him most.

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Bearsss

Dante Rosario's curious contract situation - Brad Biggs: Dante Rosario is back with the Bears, but it took two contracts in a little more than a week to get it done.

Melton visiting Cowboys on Monday - Calvin Watkins: The Cowboys are looking to upgrade the defensive line and have expressed interest in Julius Peppers (signed with Green Bay), Jared Allen, Robert Ayers and Melton.

Roster notes - Dan Pompei: Will Lamarr Houston play DE or DT?

Roster notes - Brad Biggs breaks down Bears contract numbers for the most recent signings.

Draft preview - Football Outsiders take a closer look at the 2014 draft's pass rushers with their SackSEER advanced analytic rating. Will Emery try for potential sleeper Kareem Martin in the 3rd round?

Draft preview - Russ Lande: NFL teams are always on the lookout for big CBs who are fluid athletes. As the 2014 draft nears, here are the five best prospects.

Sun-Times Bears section here.

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Polish sausage

Ex-Bear news - Jeff Fedotin: Devin Hester would fit in K.C. as Chiefs employ his former Bears coach and need a returner. Chris Perkins: Would "love" to play for Dolphins.

Will Hester return to wide receiver role? - Chris Boden: If other teams see what Hester sees in himself, he might've been signed by now as we head towards the second week of free agency.

Ex-Bear news - Josh Sanchez: J’Marcus Webb to have a real shot at competing for a starting job with the Chiefs, if he signs. [Also, boon for Kansas City McDonalds franchises - Den]

Know thy enemy: Vikings - Ben Goessling: Second-round draft flop Chris Cook, whose 29 starts without an interception are the second most by a DB in NFL history, exits as another miss at CB. Tom Pelissero: Three Vikings agree to pay cuts.

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