The team applied the transition tag to their talented young cornerback. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport first reported the development.
Slapping the transition designation on Fuller means the Bears can match any offer the 26-year-old cover man might receive on the open market. The one-year tag is worth $12.971 million, down $2 million from the $14.975 million value of the franchise tag.
Fuller was an iffy candidate for the franchise label, but the move keeps a valuable defender under lock and key as new head coach Matt Nagy organizes his defense for 2018.
With $60 million-plus in salary-cap space, Chicago isn't about to let Fuller escape, giving the team a chance to work out a long-term deal over the next calendar year.
Fuller has dealt with injuries in the past, but he came on strong last season, finishing as the league's 36th-ranked cornerback, per Pro Football Focus, while shining in one-on-one matchups down the stretch.
With Prince Amukamara hitting the open market, Chicago remains a candidate to add additional help at corner both in free agency and the draft. Getting their 2014 first-rounder back goes a long way to shoring up this developing secondary.