Bears fans should celebrate. Moments ago, it was announced that the Chicago Bears have transition tagged Kyle Fuller worth almost 13 million dollars.
This was seen widely as a key offseason move and extremely necessary for a defense just beginning to blossom into a top-10 unit. After weeks of silence, the forgotten hero of the 2017 defense gets rewarded with a big pay-day.
Fuller had a quietly good season last year as he tied for third in the NFL in passes deflected. You wish that he had more than his two interceptions but watch the game film and you’ll see he dropped another three or four that he could’ve easily come down with.
One of the more quiet personalities on the defense, Fuller hesitated then let out a simple “yes” when asked if he wanted to return in a press conference late last season. I’ll be honest, that response didn’t exactly strike a bell of confidence.
Bears fans reminiscent of the Alshon Jeffery situation feel a bit of relief. Sure, Jeffery did not want to be in Chicago for the next phase of his career and that’s okay. The problems lies within what the Bears seemingly replaced him with.
Those options didn’t even come close to fulfilling that job description. It makes total sense that the den of Bears fans would feel a level of pessimism, fear even, that losing Fuller would hurt us more than it would help.
Fuller staying in Chicago does a few things worthy of note that go beyond his individual presence:
- Fuller gives the secondary a veteran who has been inundated with the culture, defensive scheme and familiarity with the staff.
- Keeping Fuller allows the Bears to have options at the second cornerback position. They can look to spend more money and upgrade from veteran Prince Amukamara on a player like Trumaine Johnson or Bashaud Breeland.
- Having him as an integral part of the defense gives Fuller the space to match or improve his play. You will hear coaches say all the time, the less a player has to think the more they can react and be instinctive. Going on Year 4 underneath Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator will allow him to do that now more than ever.
- Fuller is premium talent in coverage. With a deficit at pass rushers, having high-quality talent to stick with receivers helps balance the defense out.
It’s been quite an off-season for the Fuller boys as Kyle’s younger brother Kendall was traded from the Redskins to the Chiefs. The blockbuster trade that also sent a third-round pick to Kansas City for Alex Smith caught Kendall completely by surprise.
Apparently, he didn’t even find out about the trade except through the old-faithful in the Twittersphere. The internet is still undefeated.
Kendall has been having quite the career himself and should find the field early and often in Kansas City in light of the second blockbuster trade that sent Marcus Peters to the Rams for a package of picks.
Kyle however, coming off of an injury that sidelined him for the entire 2016 season looked to bounce back and play like the former first-round pick that he is. That, he did.
With 69 tackles, he proved to still be the long, physical, man-to-man cornerback that made the Bears draft him in 2014. Kyle fits well within his defense and cashes in nicely after the Ryan Pace declined his fifth-year option last offseason.
The Bears get their cornerback, Fuller makes his money. Just in time to kick off the rest of the offseason, Pace pulls off a win-win situation for both sides.