Peppers, 34, was released Tuesday by the Chicago Bears, who saved $18.183 million against their salary cap by parting ways with the 12-year veteran.
Peppers spent the past four seasons with the Bears after being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2002 draft. He signed a blockbuster six-year deal worth $84 million in 2010, and restructured his contract on two occasions to give the Bears more cap room.
But in doing so, each time, Peppers' cap number grew in the later years of the deal. When Peppers last restructured his contract with the Bears in 2013, his cap numbers grew to $18.183 million in 2014 and $20.683 million in 2015.
Peppers led the Bears last season with 7.5 sacks -- the fewest he's had in a Chicago uniform. Peppers has 118.5 career sacks, which ranks second in the league since his entry (2002).
In four years playing for the Bears, Peppers started in every game (64), and racked up 37.5 sacks in addition to making the Pro Bowl in every season with the team except for 2013.
ESPN.com Bears reporter Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.