Julius Peppers signed a six-year deal worth 91.5 million dollars with the Chicago Bears on Friday.
Because NFL owners and players have been unable to agree upon terms for a new contract, a 2010 season without a salary cap entered its free agency signing period with several major contracts being signed, AFP reported.
Agent Carl Carey said a record $42 million is guaranteed, with Peppers earning $20 million in the first year.
It's one thing to play football in this league and make a living," Pepper said, "but it's a totally different thing to come to a place with a rich tradition like the Bears."
The five-time Pro Bowl defensive end joined Chicago in the biggest move by a team that showed it's fixated on contending again after missing the playoffs the past three seasons.
The Bears also added running back Chester Taylor from Minnesota and blocking tight end Brandon Manumaleuna from San Diego.
"You always shoot for the stars, and hopefully if you don't get there you're going to wind up high anyhow," general manager Jerry Angelo said, The Associated Press reported.
After three years without making the play-offs, the Bears mean business and they also lured running back Chester Taylor from NFC North rivals Minnesota, and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna from San Diego.
"It's one thing to play football in this league and make a living, but it's a totally different thing to come to a place with a rich tradition like the Bears," Peppers said, Sky Sports informs.