It is being reported by Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com that the Dallas Cowboys have an interest in signing former Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers. The 34-year old was released by Chicago earlier this week because of his massive salary. Peppers was scheduled to make $13.9 million this year.
Although no official visit has been set up yet, the Cowboys would be interested in eight-time Pro Bowler. But only at the right price. Dallas currently has an estimated $7 million of cap space available after the release of defensive end DeMarcus Ware on Tuesday.
Peppers, who played a majority of his 13-year career for the Carolina Panthers and was named Defensive Player of the Year back in 2004, could help fill the void left by Ware. “The Freak” is coming off a seven sack season, which is tied for his lowest sack total since 2007. But Peppers also had some of his best years as a professional under now Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Speaking of the Bears/Marinelli connection, the Cowboys do have a visit scheduled for this weekend with Bears’ defensive tackle Henry Melton. The Ft. Worth native is currently visiting the Seattle Seahawks, fresh off a free agency recruiting trip from Minnesota. It’s rumored Melton will make a final decision on where he’ll play in 2014 only after talking to the Bears.
It’s also being reported that the Cowboys are interested in free agent defensive end Jared Allen from the Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Brandon Weeden, formerly of the Cleveland Browns. Allen nearly got a $10 million a year deal from Denver, before Ware came in and swopped it up. The former Vikings has made it clear he will retire unless a team pays him what he believes he’s worth. Weeden was released by the Browns earlier this week after being a first round pick by the team just two years ago. The 30-year old hasn’t had any suitors so far, outside of the Cowboys who liked him coming out of Oklahoma State.
In other free agency news, former New Orleans Saints linebacker and special teams captain Will Herring will not be signing with the Cowboys after all. Although both parties agreed in principle to a contract on Thursday, nothing official was actually signed. On Friday, the team reneged on the deal and decided not to sign Herring. He will now return to free agency. No official reason has been given for the sudden change in direction by the Cowboy s’ front office. But there is a rumor of possible injury concerns. According to his agent, Herring did passed the team’s physical. They were both stunned and puzzled by the team’s decision to part ways.