Chicago Bears Apply Transition Tag to Kyle Fuller
It’s official: Kyle Fuller will be on the Chicago Bears in 2018.
Chicago Bears fans can relax. After a tremendous 2017 campaign for Kyle Fuller, the Bears cornerback was set to hit free agency. Chicago had a small window to try to negotiate a deal, but if no deal was reached, Fuller was set to become a free agent on March 12. Would they apply the franchise tag? $15 million per year seemed pretty steep for Fuller’s services. After several weeks of wondering what was going to happen with Fuller, the news finally came down today.
Rapoport breaks quite a bit of surprising news. Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears have placed the transition tag on Fuller guaranteeing him a spot on the Bears’ 2018 roster. It’s truly the perfect move for the franchise.
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Fuller’s market was tough to gauge. Several people thought he was worthy of near top-end market in the $13 to $14 million per year, others thought with only one complete season that his average yearly salary should be closer to $10 million.
This gives Fuller, the Bears, and fans a chance to relax. Fuller can test free agency, but if he signs a deal, the Bears will have an opportunity to match any deal. Fuller can see what his market is. This doesn’t guarantee the Bears keep Fuller, if some absurd team offers him 4 years at $60 million with a huge guaranteed sum, the Bears could still let Fuller walk. But being the Bears are comfortable paying Fuller $13 this year, the Bears should be willing to go about 4 years, $52 million with half of that guaranteed.
If Fuller doesn’t receive an offer he’s comfortable with, he can continue to negotiate with the Bears all summer. This was the best possible decision Ryan Pace could make.
There have also been several writers chiming in with uneducated takes.
These takes are foolish and show that these people don’t actually follow the Bears closely despite being NFL writers. Fuller’s first two seasons were inconsistent. He regressed in many ways. The Bears weren’t certain he was going to make the team in 2017, let alone be confident enough to use the fifth-year option prior to that. Let’s not forget that Fuller missed the entire year in 2016 with an injury. Based on his resume after two seasons, Fuller was headed towards bust status, not fifth-year option status. Fuller’s breakout year in 2017 was great to see, but don’t be fooled by thinking Fuller’s fifth-year option should have been utilized. Those takes are uneducated.
Regardless, the Bears and Fuller are in great shape to come together on a long-term deal. Bears fans should be very pleased with this decision.