For the first time in his still-young NFL career, Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller actually performed like a first-round pick this past season. The former Virginia Tech star was the team’s best defender, recording 68 tackles, 22 passes defended and two interceptions. It was a Pro Bowl caliber performance from the 26-year old cover guy. It also came during a contract year, which makes us wonder what was going on with Fuller over the course of his first three NFL seasons.
Now set to hit free agency, Chicago faces the real possibility of losing Fuller to another team that’s willing to pony up a ton of cash for the talented defensive back. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, this could lead the Bears to place the franchise tag on Fuller prior to the March 6th deadline.
“I certainly think there is a good chance the franchise tag or transition tag is in play for Fuller before the March 6 deadline, and it’s possible (GM Ryan) Pace sheds a little light on that possibility later this week from the scouting combine,” Biggs reported.
Fuller would earn $14.2 million if forced to play under the franchise tag in 2018. That would make him the highest-paid corner when determining in base salary alone. The $14.2 million cap hit would rank sixth among players at that position.
Whether the Bears want to pay that type of cash out to a player in Fuller who has been a one-year wonder up to this point remains to be seen.