Bears match Packers' offer sheet for CB Kyle Fuller

Print

The Bears aren't about to let an NFC North rival poach one of their key players.

Chicago is matching Green Bay's offer sheet for cornerback Kyle Fuller, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source close to the situation. The deal calls for $56 million over four years, with $18 million in guarantees, Rapoport added.

Fuller was already due to receive $12.971 million under the transition tag, so the Bears are on the hook for just over $5 million more in guaranteed money. Allowed five days to match the offer, Chicago took just a few hours to reach a decision.

Had general manager Ryan Pace opted to apply the franchise rather than the transition tag, it's fair to posit that he would be shelling out more money on a long-term deal. The franchise number of $14.975 million would have increased Fuller's leverage and starting point in negotiations.

The Packers' offer was actually the second Fuller received since the onset of free agency, per Rapoport. He didn't accept the first proposal. Another team interested in the 26-year-old cornerback? The Saints, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo revealed on Friday's edition of Free Agency Frenzy.

Ranked No. 9 on Around The NFL's Top 101 Free Agents of 2018, Fuller is one of top defensive stars available after resurrecting his stalled career last season.

On the heels of a stalwart rookie season, the No. 14 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft disappointed in 2015 and missed all of 2016 with a nagging knee injury. By last offseason, his stock had fallen far enough that the Bears opted against exercising his fifth-year contract option.

Finally healthy again, Fuller emerged as a Pro Bowl-caliber corner in 2017, leading all NFL defensive backs in passes defensed, per Pro Football Focus.

In addition to matching Green Bay's offer sheet for Fuller, the Bears have also re-signed fellow starting cornerback Prince Amukamara in the early days of free agency. General manager Ryan Pace has done well to retain a secondary that functioned as the surprising strength of Vic Fangio's defense last season.

Print