Friday, 19 October, 2018

Bears find less expensive way of holding on to Kyle Fuller

Bears not expected to use franchise tag on Kyle Fuller Bears not expected to use franchise tag on Kyle Fuller
Stacy Diaz | 07 March, 2018, 12:50

Other teams can pursue Fuller with long-term deals, but the Bears retain the right to match any offer and keep Fuller, which they certainly would do, provided the offer wasn't exorbitant. At the end of the season, John Fox was sacked and replaced with Matt Nagy, who was previously offensive coordinator with the Chiefs. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will return in 2018, and now so will Fuller.

The Bears are expected to take a calculated risk that they can lure Kyle Fuller back as it is believed they will not use the franchise tag on the former first-round draft pick. Given the flexibility that the transition tag allows, it's easy to see why Pace opted for it instead of the franchise tag to keep Fuller around.

Fuller, who was due to become an unrestricted free agent, had a resurgent 2017 season after missing the entire 2016 campaign following knee surgery. He needed it, after the team declined to exercise his fifth-year option. Acting as one of the best cover guys in the league, the 26-year-old Fuller recorded 68 tackles, 22 passes defended and two interceptions.

Oakland trotted out one of the worst secondaries in football in 2017. Now the Bears should be able to hold onto him, and they'll save a little money compared to what they would have paid with the franchise tag. The tagging club is awarded no compensation if it chooses not to match. But Fuller doesn't want to do a long-term deal before March 14, when he has a chance to maximize his current and future earnings.

A first-round draft pick in 2014, Fuller appeared in all 32 games over his first two seasons and had 19 passes defensed with six interceptions.