Report: Peppers gives Bears cap space by restructuring deal

CHICAGO -- The Bears have restructured Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers' contract to create more salary-cap room for next season.

A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the move Thursday night. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced it.

ESPNChicago.com was the first to report the restructure.

Peppers signed a six-year deal worth potentially $91.5 million a year ago after leaving the Carolina Panthers in free agency and was due a $10.5 million roster bonus for next season. Instead, the Bears exercised their right to convert that money into a signing bonus and prorate it over the remaining years of his contract, which runs through the 2015 season.

That saves roughly $8 million in cap space for next season, giving the Bears more room to bring in free agents and retain their own.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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