Chicago Bears: Trading Kyle Fuller makes more sense than Akiem Hicks

Chicago Bears (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Chicago Bears, Allen Robinson
Chicago Bears – Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Ryan Pace can create cap space by trading Kyle Fuller

The Bears very much need to create some big cap space this offseason. Trading Kyle Fuller is a smart way to address this problem and also acquire a second-round pick, which could be used to replace Fuller and also not be a big downgrade in skill level for the Bears.

In addition to all the other reasons to trade Fuller, in terms of the big picture, trading him would be the key move to freeing up cap space so the Bears resign Allen Robinson. If the Bears truly want to have an offense that can take them deep into the playoffs, they absolutely need to keep the tandem of David Montgomery and Allen Robinson together.

Here is a trade with the Niners for Kyle Fuller that would help both the Bears and the Niners in multiple ways. It also includes the juicy subplot of the Bears once again swapping first-round picks with the Niners — similar to, but not exactly the same as when they did it in the infamous trade up to draft Mitch Trubisky.

How ironic would it be if another first-round swap with the Niners is the fix needed to remedy the biggest mistake of Ryan Pace’s time as the Bears general manager? Many, if not most, mock drafts have the Niners using their first-round pick to draft one of the best corners in this draft.

The reason for this is that both of the Niners starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Jason Verrett are free agents. However, the Niners would likely prefer to use their top pick to get one of the best quarterbacks in this draft if they felt they could still field two quality cornerbacks in 2021.

This is a somewhat complicated trade scenario. The Chicago Bears swap their 20th pick in this draft for the Niners’ 12th pick in this draft. The Bears and Niners would also swap their second-round picks. The Bears would get the 44th pick and the Niners would get the 52nd pick. Lastly, the Bears get the Niners fourth-round pick, the 114th pick. These multiple trade-ups plus the Niners’ fourth-round pick all add up to a mid-second round pick value based on the NFL trade value chart.

It is possible the Bears can find a corner in free agency such as Prince Amukamara who is still probably good enough for the Bears to have a very good secondary in 2021. However, if they are not really satisfied with the corners they have as they enter the draft, this trade gives them some maneuverability to draft one they do like.

For example, they could package the Niners fourth-round pick with their third-round pick and possibly a future 2022 pick to move up into the middle of the second round to take a cornerback. I would also recommend that they use Anthony Miller as part of this package to trade up from the third round into the second round.

The corner I hope they can draft is Josh Jobe. He comes from the secondary-factory of Alabama’s Crimson Tide. He is a tall fast corner who is expected to go in the second round and might even last late into the second round. He has a high ceiling according to the scouts but, apparently, a second-round floor. This ceiling floor combo profiles Jaylon Johnson in last year’s draft.

The logic of this trade for the Niners is they can fill three vital needs versus two vital needs by just moving eight spots back in the first round and nine spots back in the second round. Presumably, they could then draft a quarterback in the first round, whom they can develop into a starting quarterback to the satisfaction of the demanding, Kyle Shanahan.

Acquiring Fuller fills a big need for them at cornerback. They then can use the Bears’ second-round pick to fill another key need — be it left tackle or another cornerback. On the Bears side of it, they are in a much better position to draft a quarterback in the first round and in a better position to draft a quality left tackle in the second round. These are multiple big wins for each team with this trade and it includes a big helping of tasty irony sauce on top.