In the process, Julius Peppers’ days in Chicago are probably over.
Houston signed a five-year deal worth $35 million with Chicago on Tuesday. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports Houston will receive $15 million guaranteed, and $21 million in the first three years of his deal.
It also is not a bad consolation prize for Chicago, which actively pursued defensive end Michael Bennett, who re-signed with Seattle on Monday.
Houston, 26, led Oakland’s defensive line with 69 tackles (56 solo) and two forced fumbles in 2013. Chicago’s new defensive line is 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, which is not the stature for a prototypical 4-3 defensive end. Nevertheless, the Bears were intrigued by Houston’s flexibility.
Peppers was a premier free agent signing by Chicago in 2010. The former Panthers standout signed a six-year deal worth $84 million ($42 million guaranteed).
However, Peppers, 34, had 45 tackles, seven sacks and two forced fumbles last season. It was his lowest sack total in three seasons.
Chicago was actively attempting to trade Peppers prior to the start of free agency, but could not deal him. If Chicago cannot get something in return for Peppers, the signing of Houston likely will lead to the veteran’s release.
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