Bears place transition tag on Fuller

Kyle Fuller

The team placed the transition tag on the fourth-year cornerback Tuesday, meaning they will now have the right of first refusal to match any offer Fuller may receive from another team.

I can't say for sure if the transition tag will be in play, but multiple folks have told me they do not expect the Bears to franchise-tag Fuller, something that would come at a price tag of a little more than $15 million per season.

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Given Fuller's performance this year, the Bears made a decision to apply the transition tag, a designation that gives the Bears the opportunity to match any contract offer that Fuller agrees to.

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. After a resurgent 2017 season, Fuller is expected to draw significant interest on the free-agent market as one of the top available cornerbacks.

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The Bears, however, run the risk of losing Fuller without receiving compensation. But, after being called out by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Fuller bounced back with his best season. Fuller then seemingly had a falling-out with the Bears, who declined his fifth-year option. The team, however, hopes to negotiate a long-term deal with Fuller.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace expressed interest in retaining Fuller at last week's National Football League scouting combine.

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Fuller recorded 67 tackles, two interceptions and 22 pass breakups this past season, one year after sitting out the entire 2016 campaign after undergoing a knee scope in the summer. He collected three interceptions and two forced fumbles in his first three games of his rookie season.

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