Four years ago, Julius Peppers was the biggest signing in free agency when the Bears lured him to Chicago.
Now he's a free agent again.
The Bears announced Tuesday that they had terminated Peppers' contract. He was due a salary of $13.9 million in 2014, and counted $20 million toward the salary cap.
PEPPERS: Where does he land?
The Bears' announcement came several hours after the team signed former Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston, presumably to assume Peppers' role in the Bears defense.
Peppers had 37½ sacks in his four seasons with the Bears and heads into free agency with 118½ career sacks.
"We appreciate Julius' contributions to the Bears over the last four years," Bears GM Phil Emery said in a statement.
"He was a leader on our defense starting every game since coming to Chicago. His accomplishments over his NFL career place him among the best defensive ends over the past 20 years. The Chicagoland community has benefited greatly from his quiet generosity. We wish him the best."
He joins DeMarcus Ware and Jared Allen as aging pass rushers available free agency. Allen's contract with the Minnesota Vikings expired, and Ware, the Dallas Cowboys' career sack leader, was also released Tuesday afternoon.
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