Packers play Bears perfectly in game of tag with CB Kyle Fuller

Posted March 18, 2018

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Packers have signed Fuller to an offer sheet.

Fuller will now make $14 million per season, or a little over $1 million more than he would have made in 2018 on the transition tag. The Bears said they tagged Fuller in order to facilitate time to work out a long-term deal with him.

The Bears are expected to have five days to match the deal.

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The end result is that the Packers negotiated the deal for the Bears, at no cost to Chicago. The Packers now have to go searching for a different cornerback, while the Bears can celebrate a sensible contract for Fuller. That includes two picks he made while starting all 16 games in 2017.

When new Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said his team was going to be in on everybody in free agency this offseason, he apparently was not even close to joking. The Packers no doubt structured their offer so that it would cost the Bears much more, although the exact terms of the offer sheet were not immediately available.

Ideally the Bears will decline to match the offer and Green Bay will land a top cornerback. If Green Bay's operatives use creative accounting to front-load the deal, however, it will be interesting to see if the contract's parameters alter their longstanding rival's plans. The $14 million annual average ranks fifth among all cornerbacks - $10,000 per year behind Patrick Peterson - and the guarantee ranks eighth. However, the Packers have obviously beaten them to the punch. He struggled in 2015, then missed the entire 2016 season with knee issues and faced numerous training-camp challenges entering the 2017 season. If not, Gutekunst's NFC North rivals have to take on the contract. At a minimum, the Bears should give Abe Froman a call and send a gift basket full of pork products to Green Bay.