In an Insider piece for ESPN.com, Football Outsiders' J.I. Halsell does a salary analysis of the NFC North and singles out Julius Peppers as the "most to prove" based on his $14 million a year contract.
Over the past two seasons, Peppers has totaled 25 sacks, the most sacks over a two-year period in his somewhat up-and-down career. That productivity helped the 30-year-old Peppers secure a contract that guarantees $42 million and pays, on average, $14 million per year, both of which surpass the contract of Dallas Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. Given the question marks regarding Peppers' passion for football, it remains to be seen whether his sack productivity of late was motivated by the prospects of a big payday. Now that he has received that payday, will Peppers continue to play at an elite level?
Halsell gives the 2010 team salary, 2010 dead money, player with highest team salary number, non-tendered player in a contract year and player who has to live up to team salary number for each NFC North team.