When it comes to NFL free agent cornerback Kyle Fuller, the Green Bay Packers began a game of chicken with the Chicago Bears. There are circulating reports that the Bears will call the Packers’ bluff. Fuller had his best season with the Chicago Bears last year, and he could have joined their most hated rivals in the next five days.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Green Bay Packers had reached an agreement with Kyle Fuller on an offer sheet on Friday afternoon. In doing so, the Chicago Bears had five days to either match the terms of the agreement or let Fuller join the Packers. According to a tweet by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the word is that the Bears will choose to match the Packers’ offer.
The offer the Green Bay Packers gave Kyle Fuller was reported to be a four-year, $56 million deal. Kyle Fuller will receive $18 million guaranteed. He inks a contract that makes him one of the highest-paid players at cornerback.
How the two NFC North enemies got here is interesting. It seems as if Kyle Fuller was in danger of being considered a bust as recently as a year ago. There were discussions within the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff about Fuller’s future with the team. The Bears had even thought about cutting ties with Fuller last summer.
Instead of sulking, Kyle Fuller took the questions surrounding his future and wrested one of the starting cornerback jobs over time. Fuller made such a good impression on the Bears’ front office last season that the team decided to place the transition tag on him less than two weeks ago.
By giving Kyle Fuller the transition tag, the Chicago Bears allow other teams to set the market for them. The market dictated that Kyle Fuller has a bright future ahead of him.
Not only did Kyle Fuller convince the Bears that he is a good cornerback, it was obvious that the Packers believed the same thing. If the Packers were not sincere with their interest in Kyle Fuller, they would not have taken a risk and made him an offer.
There was some skepticism regarding the Packers going after Kyle Fuller. A contingent of NFL observers believed that the Packers were attempting to force the Bears to eat up a chunk of their remaining cap flexibility on Fuller.
If the Bears had declined to match the offer sheet that the Packers gave Kyle Fuller, it could have put Green Bay in a bind. That would have been despite gaining a conceivably ascending talent in Fuller.
The NFL free agency market is thin on cornerbacks. If the Chicago Bears had allowed the Green Bay Packers to sign Kyle Fuller away, they would have looked to replace him in the upcoming NFL draft. The Bears may still decide on selecting a cornerback with the No. 8 pick, however, they will have Kyle Fuller for the foreseeable future.
Judging from the particulars of Kyle Fuller’s contract, the Packers looked to protect themselves just in case the Bears declined to match. The Packers now have to figure out how to fix their hole at cornerback.
Without Kyle Fuller in the fold, the Green Bay Packers are dangerously thin in the secondary. The Packers could target free agent defensive back Tyrann Mathieu or draft someone to start and learn on the job.