Bears place transition tag on Fuller

PFF Malcolm Butler is a solution to Colts cornerback problem

The Chicago Bears had a serious choice to make on free agent-to-be Kyle Fuller. Relying on a 34-year-old free safety in Reggie Nelson and seeing their top two cornerbacks in David Amerson and Sean Smith get torched early and often.

The tag, announced Tuesday, guarantees Fuller $12.9 million next season.

Due to the Bears' very manageable salary cap situation, Chicago will have the ability to match any offer that Fuller would receive. Cooper's future with the Bears is under evaluation, as he had a disappointing 2017.

The transition tag works differently than the more traditional franchise tag.

Last offseason, the Bears opted to decline the fifth-year option on Fuller, which would've applied to the 2018 season.

Fuller, who turned 26 last month, tied for the team lead with two interceptions and also played with impressive physicality in run support, tying for the team lead with 60 solo tackles. If the Bears refuse to match, they would receive no compensation.

While some speculated there might be hesitation to give Fuller a tag after his knee injury, GM Ryan Pace clearly figures he is worth at least one more season to see if he can become the player they believed him to be before his injury. This isn't a surprise because it creates a hard situation to get a long-term deal done and, well, that's probably too rich for Fuller.

The Bears selected Fuller 14th overall in the 2014 National Football League draft, and his rookie season was an electric one.

However, with his 2017 season and the team's lack of cornerback depth, Fuller has another chance at life with the Bears.

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