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Lamarr Houston eyed as Julius Peppers' replacement

Now that Michael Bennett has returned to Seattle, the Chicago Bears are turning to their fallback plan at defensive end.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, via sources informed of the team's thinking, that the Bears are now targetingRaiders defensive lineman Lamarr Houston.

With the division-rival Green Bay Packersalso interested in Houston, the Bears are now "pushing hard" for his services, per Rapoport.

Just entering his prime at 26, the scheme-versatile Houston ranks No. 5 on Around The League's list of the top 101 free agents. Although his production tailed off down the stretch, he played at a Pro Bowl level for the majority of last season.

Chicago has also shown interest in Michael Johnson, though the Buccaneers appear to be emerging as the favorites to sign the former Bengals pass rusher.

Once the Bears do land a young defensive end such as Houston or Johnson, they are expected to part ways with Julius Peppers.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" picks the biggest free agent bargains and plays the revolutionary game: "Get my lunch."

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