Here’s what McClure had to say:
Defensive end Julius Peppers, the top agent on the market, has agreed to visit the Bears Friday, agent Carl Carey told the Tribune as free agency began Thursday night.
No team was allowed to have contact with Peppers until the free-agent period officially began at 11:01 p.m., but Peppers had a strong interest in joining Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Tommie Harris on the Bears’ defense. The Bears were the first team to call Carey and extended a “substantial offer” that was good enough to get Peppers on the plane.
Other teams, such as the Redskins and Seahawks, were expected to make a late push for Peppers as well, but the Bears emerged as the front-runner. He could visit other teams depending on what happens in Chicago.
The Bears were expected to be active in free agency and there is a strong chance they could land restricted free-agent running back Chester Taylor, Adrian Peterson’s backup with the Vikings, as well. Adding Peppers, Taylor, and blocking tight end Brandon Manumaleuna would show how serious the Bears are about winning in this pivotal 2010 season.
Peppers, 30, brings 81 career sacks to the Bears following eight seasons with Carolina. Some have questioned his work ethic, but his teammates in Carolina as well as other observes around the league believe he can have an instant impact for the Bears.
Right end Alex Brown said during a radio interview Thursday that he would be willing to switch to left end in order to accommodate Peppers. Both Urlacher and Briggs have voice their support of Peppers in recent weeks. The Bears managed 35 sacks last season, 24 by the defensive line, and the five-time Pro Bowler Peppers could be exactly what the Bears need to improve their inconsistent pass rush.
The Bears also could be looking to fill a void at safety and had discussions with Antrel Rolle, who was released by the Cardinals. Rolle is scheduled to visit the Giants Friday.
All quotes from chicagotribune.com