The Green Bay Packers wanted Kyle Fuller.
I mean, why else would you sign a player to a four-year offer sheet worth $56 million? Sure, they could’ve been (and
probably were) trying to drive up the price for Chicago, but it was the Bears who ended up retaining him, by matching that very offer sheet.
And why wouldn’t you want to bring back your highest-graded cornerback, especially when that player was a 2014 first-round pick, who finally pieced together his particular combination of talent and skill for a breakout season?
But in the end, both teams seemed fairly pleased with how things turned out.
Quickly opting into the terms of the contract offered by the Packers was an easy decision for Chicago, writes Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Bears wasted no time matching the offer, even though it included an $18 million signing bonus and $20 million paid out in the first year. Chicago couldn’t afford to lose its best corner, and the optics of losing him to an arch rival who had needs at the position wouldn’t have been good. Making a good move and avoiding bad optics, it seems, is worth the price of admissions.
Bears GM Ryan Pace figured there would be a market for Fuller, who just turned 26 and was coming off his best season as a pro. And he said part of the team’s offseason preparation was to highlight cornerback-thirsty teams that could be interested in signing Fuller away. And because the Bears placed the transition tag on Fuller, those teams did come calling before Green Bay ultimately came away with the offer sheet.
To that end, the Packers probably feel good about the deal’s structure – even if any negative impact it could have on the Bears’ salary cap situation is mostly negated by Chicago being flush with cap flexibility. Still, a tip of the cap to Green Bay’s brain-trust for at least trying to make it a challenge with a little gamesmanship.
— Michael Cohen (@Michael_Cohen13) March 27, 2018
At worst, they got a pricey, but quality cornerback and at best, they forced the Bears to pay a little more than they wanted. It wasn’t a bad play, to be honest. But, all’s well that ends well.
For what it’s worth, the Packers were believed to be in on a number of the market’s top corners before ultimately re-signing Tramon Williams for a second stint with the team.