Bears place transition tag on Fuller

Bears place transition tag on Fuller

The transition tag would pay Fuller $12.97 million this season and the Bears will have until July 16 to come to terms with Fuller on a multi-year deal.

It's worth wondering if confidence in the ability to re-sign Fuller has played into the Bears' decision to not use the tag. Under the transition tag, the Bears will get the right of first refusal if another team offers Fuller a contract, but they won't receive compensation if they choose not to match.

The Bears know that Fuller, 26, wants to return, and if the aggressive communication Pace described has included aggressive offers, it's reasonable to believe an agreement could be reached before free agency opens, when the team will have a host of other moves to consider.

There's a chance another prominent name could be added to the free agent cornerback market when the new league year begins March 14. But, after being called out by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Fuller bounced back with his best season.

Fuller missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

His 2017 Pro Football Focus grade was an 84.3, putting him as the NFL's No. 22 cornerback, with an "above average" standing.

He has eight career picks and was set to be an unrestricted free agent after the Bears previously declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

"Kyle is a player we value", said general manager Ryan Pace. Given the fact that Fuller reportedly wanted to stay in Chicago, it's likely a long-term marriage can work itself out. He started 30 games in his first two seasons out of Virginia Tech and had six interceptions and 129 tackles.

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