Bears to make a play for Peppers and Marshall?

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bears met with the player rep for free agent Julius Peppers last weekend. While this might be music to fans’ ears, if this is true then the meeting could be constituted as tampering.

Teams like to meet with player reps before free agency kicks off in order to establish a relationship with the rep’s client. Technically, teams can’t start negotiating with free agents until March 5, but deals always happen at midnight the day of, so clearly teams are in communication with reps and agents before then. The problem arises when the team gets caught negotiating before that time, so chances are the Bears will deny the Tribune’s report, whether it’s true or not.

On a related note, Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that at least one NFL source believes that Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall will end up a Bear in 2010. Hayes didn’t go into much detail outside of noting that the NFL source wagered a “steak dinner” on Marshall landing in Chicago.

Marshall is a fit for the Bears just based on the relationship he has with quarterback Jay Cutler. Plus, Mike Martz would certainly love to reunite the pair in his offense.

But the problem is that the Bears don’t have a first or second round pick in this year’s draft. So unless Denver is willing to take a third rounder and a package of air fresheners in exchange for Marshall, Chicago would either have to sweeten the pot with a player or two, or hand over a pick in the 2011 draft.

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