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Report: OLB Pernell McPhee Signing With Chicago Bears

Pernell McPhee has cashed in.

The outside linebacker capitalized on a big 2014 season by agreeing to a five-year deal with the Chicago Bears reportedly worth $40 million, according to The Baltimore Sun. McPhee can officially ink the deal when free agency opens Tuesday at 4 p.m.

The Ravens knew going into free agency that it would be tough to keep the talented pass rusher, who was a fifth-round pick in 2011. Baltimore already has outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil signed to big contracts, and didn't have the salary-cap room to also keep McPhee.

"You have to look at it this way: If we were to go after the market on Pernell, how many other players would we not have on the Baltimore Ravens? And that's kind of the way we look at this thing," General Manager Ozzie Newsome said at the season-review press conference last month.

"We have to look at how we can't pay everybody market value, because it would hurt our roster overall in trying to retain other guys and then go out in the market and get other guys."

McPhee is the Ravens' second big-name free agent to leave this offseason, as wide receiver Torrey Smith announced Sunday night that he won't return next year.

McPhee, 26, had the best season of his career in a 2014 contract year. He thrived as an interior pass rusher, racking up 7.5 sacks, 27 tackles, four passes defensed and a forced fumble. During his four years in Baltimore, McPhee had 17 sacks, three forced fumbles and seven passes defensed.

He continues a recent trend of defenders who have left Baltimore for bigger paydays elsewhere, joining players like Paul Kruger, Arthur Jones and Dannell Ellerbe.  The Ravens ended up with compensatory picks for all three of those players who left, and that will likely happen again with McPhee.

With McPhee gone, the Ravens will likely look to the draft for some pass-rusher depth behind Suggs and Dumervil.

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