What Bringing Back Kyle Fuller Means to the Chicago Bears’ Defense
The Chicago Bears hung cornerback Kyle Fuller out in the wind to see what teams would be interested in him. The Green Bay Packers took a bite, but Fuller remains a Bear. What does this mean for Chicago?
Kyle Fuller looked like he was on his way out of Chicago at the end of the 2016 season. Before the start of last year, everyone thought that he would be relegated to bench duty and would eventually find himself looking for work. The former first-round pick from way back in the Phil Emery era had seemingly punched his ticket out of Chicago in 2016 missing the entire year with an injury. His toughness was questioned.
The Bears didn’t pick up his fifth-year option.
It looked as if he was going to have to move on and find another team.
Then, last year, he had a breakout season. He might have ended up being the Bears’ best defender and was one of their most consistent. Knowing just how good he was, the Bears knew they had a problem on their hands. Would they be able to keep Fuller or would he command too much money and force the Bears to let him walk? If they did let him go, they would get nothing for him.
Chicago had to decide.
Rumors flourished stating that the Bears were not going to keep Fuller. People were so certain of these rumors, they began to start saying their goodbyes in the press and looked to see what the Bears could do to replace him. Even some of the most well-known insiders in the NFL called his career in Chicago over. But they obviously got some bad information, or the Bears were playing a game because before the start of free the put the transition tag on Fuller.
What is the transition tag?
The transition tag is placed on a player who is an unrestricted free agent that the team would like to keep. The tag allows the team the right to refuse the first offer that player may get with another franchise. Should that player enter into a contract with the tagging team after the tag has been applied, the team may not use the tag again that year. This is only unless they sign what is known as a transition offer sheet with guarantees the player an average of the top ten salaries for the players at their position or a twenty percent salary increase taking on the greater of the two. It is a guaranteed contract between the club and the player.
As it ended up, the Bears had one team sign an offer sheet for Fuller. That team was division rival Green Bay. The Packers gave Fuller the offer, and the Bears’ matched the four year 56-million dollar offer the Packers had given him. The deal included 18-million dollars of guaranteed money which had to have been most appealing to Fuller. The Bears took a while to match the offer possibly drawing out the time so that Green Bay didn’t know whether they would have that money to sign other free agents.
Sometimes rivals do small things to each other to upset their plans. That appears to be what the Bears did to Green Bay.
Chicago is now set with Fuller as their starting cornerback on one side. Let’s hope that he performs up to expectations and doesn’t suffer a drop in play. This has happened to some other players do after signing big contracts. Fuller should be able to remain the starter at one of the cornerback spots. If he can continue his solid play from 2017, he might be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He has finally come into his own and been a more than effective player. Let’s hope that he can keep playing like he did last season and not end up a disappointment.
What does Fuller mean to the Chicago Bears? Bigger and better things are ahead at the cornerback position. Stability and solid play should be Fuller’s hallmarks and the Bears. With his help, will be one of the best defensive teams in the NFL in the coming seasons.