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Bears put franchise tag on cornerback Fuller

Bears put franchise tag on cornerback Fuller”

The Chicago Bears had a serious choice to make on free agent-to-be Kyle Fuller.

The tag guarantees Fuller a $12.971 million salary for the 2018 season and gives the Bears until July 16 to work out a long-term contract.

The transition tag is the lowest tier of the three and is set to pay Fuller just under $13 million, as opposed to the roughly $15 million the franchise tag would have payed him.

Keeping Fuller would help the Bears shore up a position of need this offseason, as fellow cornerback Prince Amukamara also will be an unrestricted free agent, and Bryce Callahan will be a restricted free agent.

In four National Football League seasons, Fuller has registered eight interceptions and 188 tackles in 48 appearances. The Bears would not receive any compensatory draft picks if they opted not to match such an offer.

If the Bears decide not to match, they would lose Fuller without compensation.

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He is the third of four brothers to play in the NFL.

Last week at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, Bears general manager Ryan Pace characterized the team's talks with Fuller as, "pretty aggressive", and added, "Obviously we like Kyle, and he had a good season, and we're happy with the way he's progressed".

The only other corners on the current roster are Marcus Cooper and Cre'Von LeBlanc.

Although Amukamara has been a solid starter for the past six seasons, Fuller clearly was the better player in 2017.

Fuller, 26, thrived as a rookie but struggled in 2015 and missed all of 2016 due to arthroscopic knee surgery, leading the Bears to decline the fifth-year option of his rookie contract last April.



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