Update: The Chicago Bears have matched the Packers offer sheet. It is a four-year deal worth $56 million. $18 million is guaranteed.
It’s a 4-year deal worth $56M. The key number is $18M guaranteed. Fuller already had $13M guaranteed from the translation tag. For $5M more guaranteed, they get him long-term🔒💰
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2018
Earlier this off-season, the Chicago Bears placed the transition tag on Fuller, meaning that they will have five days to match the offer. The transition tag would have seen Fuller get a one-year guaranteed $12.971 million contract in 2018. However, his contract will now be based on the terms of the offer sheet. Financial terms of this offer sheet to follow.
#Packers have signed #Bears CB Kyle Fuller to an offer sheet. Chicago placed transition tag ($12.9067 million on Fuller). So things will get interesting in the NFC North as the rivals compete for the former first-round draft pick.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 16, 2018
Kyle Fuller Signs Offer Sheet with the Green Bay Packers
Fuller was a top draft prospect coming out of Virginia Tech in 2014. He earned a host of awards during his college career, including a Second-Team All-American selection in 2013.
Mike Mayock described him as the “most NFL-ready cornerback” and compared him to Brandon Flowers in advance of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was taken 14th overall by the Bears after four seasons with the Hokies, becoming only the third cornerback taken in the first round in team history.
In his first season with Chicago, the rookie burst onto the scene following an injury to Charles Tillman. The first-round pick earned his due, racking up 64 total tackles, ten passes defended, four interceptions, and three forced fumbles. The team awarded him the Brian Piccolo Award after his rookie season for his loyalty, dedication, and teamwork. His numbers dipped slightly in 2015, recording 55 total tackles, nine passes defended, and two interceptions. Then, tragedy struck.
Fuller underwent an arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-August 2016 and struggled to recover from the injury. The Bears placed him on injured reserve, and the former first-round pick failed to see a single snap during the 2016 season. As a result, the Bears declined to pick up the fifth-year option that would have kept Fuller in Chicago for the 2018 season. This was a decision they soon came to regret. Fuller bounced back in 2017 with 69 tackles, 22 passes defended, and two interceptions. His 22 deflections led the league in 2017. Several sources have floated comparisons to Pro Bowler Casey Hayward. In late February, NFL.com named Fuller as the top cornerback hitting free agency this off-season.
The knee surgery that kept him out of the 2016 season marks the only time an injury has kept Fuller from the field for a full season. A sports-hernia forced him to miss the final four games of the Hokies 2013 campaign.