Lake Forest, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Julius Peppers' tenure with the Chicago Bears has come to a close.

On Tuesday, the franchise alerted the veteran defensive end that his contract has been terminated, bringing an end to his four-year stint.

"We appreciate Julius' contributions to the Bears over the last four years," Bears GM Phil Emery said. "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."

Peppers appeared in and started all 64 games for Chicago, since the club snagged him from the Carolina Panthers at the outset of free agency in March of 2010.

In that time, the North Carolina product compiled 175 tackles, 37 1/2 sacks and three interceptions.

Over his 12-year NFL career, Peppers can claim 556 tackles, 118 1/2 sacks, 39 forced fumbles and nine picks (two for TDs).