Bears place transition tag on CB Fuller

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According to a report from CBS Sports almost a month ago, the Chicago Bears weren't planning to retain starting cornerback Kyle Fuller ahead of free agency.

It's worth wondering if confidence in the ability to re-sign Fuller has played into the Bears' decision to not use the tag.

The transition tag pays the average of the top 10 salaries at the position; the franchise tag, which was another option, pays the average of the top five players.

The Bears will have the chance to match any potential contract offers Fuller receives from another team when free agency begins on March 14. Now the Bears should be able to hold onto him, and they'll save a little money compared to what they would have paid with the franchise tag. He'll have to prove his 2017 season wasn't a fluke, but Fuller's Bears future is much brighter than it was just a year ago. Instead, Fuller is owed $12.97 million on the transition tag. The difference is that the Bears would receive two first-round picks as compensation if he leaves.

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The 26-year-old defensive back looked all but done with the Bears before the start of the 2017 season, then turned in arguably his best season, with 67 tackles, two interceptions and 22 pass breakups.

It saved his tenure with the Bears, and they want to see who the real Fuller is.

. Given the fact that Fuller reportedly wanted to stay in Chicago, it's likely a long-term marriage can work itself out.

"Kyle is a player we value", said general manager Ryan Pace.

The only other corners on the current roster are Marcus Cooper and Cre'Von LeBlanc. He collected three interceptions and two forced fumbles in his first three games of his rookie season.