If there is something that has not been accounted for yet in the $91.5 million, six-year contract Julius Peppers received from the Chicago Bears, and pretty much every angle has been explored, it might be the value he brings to special teams.
Peppers has nine blocked kicks since entering the league in 2002, the second-most behind only Shaun Rogers of the Cleveland Browns, reports Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Peppers’ knack at 6-6 to get in a seam and get his long arms up gives Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub an extra player to work with on kick blocks. He already has a good one in Israel Idonije, who is third in blocks since 2002 with six. The Carolina Panthers didn’t use Peppers all the time on their kick block unit this past season as he logged 46 snaps on special teams.
It remains to be seen if Toub will use him all of the time or if he’ll primarily focus on field goals. The Bears have consistently had one of the league’s better special teams units since 2004 under Toub. The focus on Peppers will be sacks and how he improves the front seven. Maybe he’ll block a kick or two along the way.
“In terms of defensive ends, he’s the best at it,” Lions special teams coach Danny Crossman, who previously coached him on the Panthers’ special teams, told Pompei. “He’ll get you a couple every year. You can write it down.”
Follow me on Twitter: BradBiggs