Peppers’ 12-year run has been truly remarkable, but his impending payout might be too much for the Bears to stomach.

With 6.5 sacks this year, Peppers likely will finish with his lowest total since 2007. His production hasn’t been disconcerting on its own, but his $18.1 million cap hit for 2014 sets off a few alarms.

With Peppers turning 34 in a few weeks, it would be hard to justify for Chicago to move forward given its defensive struggles this season. A new spot might be good for Peppers, who could sign with an established competitor in need of a 4-3 defensive end.