Kyle Fuller to Receive Transition Tag from Bears

The Chicago Bears had a serious choice to make on free agent-to-be Kyle Fuller. Meaning the Raiders will have to look elsewhere to upgrade their beleaguered secondary this offseason.

The Bears are projected to have $49.6 million in cap space next season if Fuller signs the transition tag, per Over the Cap.

The franchise tag would have cost the Bears $14.975 million (average of the top five CB salaries) for Fuller this year.

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The Bears have come up with a more creative and less expensive way of keeping free-agent cornerback Kyle Fuller. Though Smith did play better later in the year under assistant head coach-defense John Pagano, that was because he was used situationally and to his strengths. This isn't a surprise because it creates a hard situation to get a long-term deal done and, well, that's probably too rich for Fuller. The tagging club is awarded no compensation if it chooses not to match. This year, Fuller had 22 passes defended for the Bears and grew into the sort of lockdown role on the outside that the Bears pictured when they invested such a high pick. It also guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player might receive from another team.

Fuller, 26, thrived as a rookie but struggled in 2015 and missed all of 2016 due to arthroscopic knee surgery, leading the Bears to decline the fifth-year option of his rookie contract last April. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will return in 2018, and now so will Fuller.

The Bears selected Fuller 14th overall in the 2014 National Football League draft, and his rookie season was an electric one.

  • Regina Walsh