Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace told reporters contract negotiations with Kyle Fuller were “ongoing” and “aggressive” … and it appears as if there is a mutual attraction between the two sides.
A source close to the team tells Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush that Fuller wants to return to the Bears and “intends to do all he can to make that happen.” That’s great news for the Bears, who drafted Fuller with the 14th overall pick in 2014 and watched him blossom into the team’s top cornerback in the final year of his rookie deal. And frankly, it’s an encouraging sign after no such reports never really surfaced in either of the last two years when Alshon Jeffery was in franchise tag limbo.
Fuller is unsure if the Bears will use the franchise tag in order to retain him, though Arkush writes the belief is the team won’t. That would leave Fuller free to test the market, figure out his value, then come back to the Bears with an idea of what he wants his next contract with the team to look like.
So while Fuller wants to remain with the Bears, it sounds like he wants to test the free agent market, too. Quite the balancing act, if you ask me.
It would be quite risky for the Bears to allow Fuller to reach the market without applying the franchise tag or the transition tag, which would give the team the right of first refusal and an opportunity to match an offer sheet signed elsewhere. But if both sides operate in good faith, then I can see it happen – even if it’s going to be difficult to pull off.