Fuller intercepted a pass while adding two tackles in Chicago's Week 13 overtime loss to the Giants. Since Chicago's Week 5 bye, Fuller has intercepted six passes in eight games while adding in three performances with at least seven tackles. Even though interceptions can be quite random, Fuller has emerged as a strong IDP at cornerback based on his big-play ability.
Fuller, who received the transition tag from the Bears, has signed an offer sheet with the division-rival Packers, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports. The transition tag costs about $2 million less than the franchise tag for cornerbacks, but it also means the Bears won't receive draft compensation if they decline to match an offer sheet. Given how well Fuller played last season, this may be a matter of the Bears intending to match any contract, rather than a matter of simply being cheap. The $2 million difference could make Fuller a bit more receptive to long-term offers, potentially landing the Bears a slight bargain compared to what they would've ended up paying him via the traditional approach of using the franchise tag and then discussing an extension. Chicago has five days to make a decision on matching the offer sheet for its top cornerback.
Fuller is receiving a transition tag from the Bears, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The transition tag allows Chicago to match any offer sheets Fuller might receive, but unlike with the franchise tag, there won't be any draft compensation if the Bears decline to match offers. At $12.97 million, the transition tag is about $2 million cheaper than the franchise tag for cornerbacks. The lack of potential draft compensation means Fuller surely will receive outside offers, unless he signs a long-term agreement with the Bears before free agency opens March 14. With the 2014 first-round pick coming off an impressive 2017 season in which he tied for third in the league with 22 passes defensed, the Bears presumably hope to sign him for the long haul.
Fuller notched a pair of tackles in the Week 17 loss to the Vikings and ended the season with 69 tackles and two interceptions. Going into this season, the team was clearly not pleased with its 2014 first-round draft choice and chose not to pick up his 2018 option before the season began, making him an unrestricted free agent this offseason. However, Fuller had a breakout season that included 22 passes defensed while consistently providing excellent coverage, helping the Bears to become a defense that was ranked in the top half of the league. He should be highly sought after in free agency and he'll be an above-average IDP as long as he continues to perform as he did in 2017.
Fuller (hand) isn't listed on Wednesday's injury report. Fuller required medical attention after cutting his hand during Sunday's loss to the Lions, but he's in no danger of missing the Week 12 matchup with the Eagles.
|1||09/06||Green Bay Packers||2|
|7||10/20||New Orleans Saints||20|
|8||10/27||Los Angeles Chargers||23|
|11||11/18||@Los Angeles Rams||29|
|12||11/24||New York Giants||28|
|15||12/15||@Green Bay Packers||2|
|16||12/23||Kansas City Chiefs||4|