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Packers finally dip into free agency, reportedly sign Julius Peppers to a three-year deal ($7.5 million guaranteed)

Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was seemingly on vacation during the first few days of NFL free agency.

It appears Thompson was just waiting for the right time to strike.

That moment occurred on Saturday when Green Bay signed former Chicago defensive end Julius Peppers to a three-year deal, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

The move occurs one day after Green Bay re-signed defensive tackle B.J. Raji (one-year, $4 million).

Peppers was released by Chicago after the signing of Oakland defensive end Lamarr Houston. Peppers, 34, had 45 tackles, seven sacks and two forced fumbles last season. It was his lowest sack total in three seasons.

It will be interesting to see how Peppers fits into Green Bay’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Peppers was a standout in Chicago’s 4-3 system, which could mean he will just be a rusher during passing situations. Peppers is not accustomed to being a two-gap defensive lineman. 

There is a possibility Peppers might be switched to outside linebacker. Spending $8.5 million to experiment seems risky, which likely means Peppers will be given one year to adjust or face being released.

There was a time when Peppers was viewed as the NFL’s top defensive end. That belief led Chicago to sign him to a six-year deal worth $84 million ($42 million guaranteed). Now Peppers is about to join the third team in his NFL career.

Peppers has 118.5 sacks heading into his 13th NFL season. He spent eight seasons with the Carolina Panthers before signing with Chicago.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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