Chicago Bears terminate the contract of DE Julius Peppers - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Chicago Bears terminate the contract of DE Julius Peppers

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago Bears have decided to part ways with defensive end Julius Peppers, terminating his contract.

The move was hardly a surprise given the way he struggled last year and the fact that his salary cap hit next season was for more than $18 million.

Peppers is the second high-profile player to part ways with the Bears this offseason, joining record returner Devin Hester. Those moves come after they split with Brian Urlacher following the 2012 season.

"We appreciate Julius' contributions to the Bears over the last four years," General Manager Phil Emery said. "He was a leader on our defense starting every game since coming to Chicago. His accomplishments over his NFL career place him among the best defensive ends over the past 20 years. The Chicagoland community has benefited greatly from his quiet generosity. We wish him the best."

Peppers finished with just seven sacks, his lowest total in four seasons with Chicago and the fewest for him since he had a career-low 2 ½ with Carolina in 2007. Three times last year he failed to make a tackle, and the Bears' defense ranked among the worst in the NFL.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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