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Julius Peppers released by Chicago Bears

Julius Peppers' time with the Chicago Bears has ended after four seasons.

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The Bears released the 34-year-old pass rusher, the team announced Tuesday.

Peppers' departure is not a surprise. We fully expected him to get cut because of his $13.9 million salary and $20 million cap number.

Peppers joined the Bears in 2010 and received the largest contract ever given to a defensive player -- a six-year, $84 million deal.

He lived up to the enormous contract during his first few seasons in Chicago, but his consistency and playmaking fell off in 2013. Peppers ranked No. 36 in Pro Football Focus' 2013 grading of 4-3 defensive ends. By comparison he ranked 18th in 2012, seventh in 2011 and third in 2010 by the same grading system.

The Bears already have agreed to terms on a five-year, $35 million contract with Lamarr Houston to add youth and pass rushing to what general manager Phil Emery has promised will be a revamped defense.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys study the free agency picture with the help of NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

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