Bears find less expensive way of holding on to Kyle Fuller

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The Chicago Bears had a serious choice to make on free agent-to-be Kyle Fuller.

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

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Bears reportedly will place the transition tag on Fuller. Opposed to the franchise tag, the Bears won't receive any compensation should they choose not to match an offer Fuller receives from another team. With plenty of money to spend - the Bears have the fourth-highest amount of cap space heading into 2018, per - the Bears have the resources that would seemingly dissuade teams from trying to construct an aggressive, exotic offer.

Keeping Fuller would help the Bears shore up a position of need this offseason, as fellow cornerback Prince Amukamara also will be an unrestricted free agent, and Bryce Callahan will be a restricted free agent. Instead, Fuller is owed $12.97 million on the transition tag.

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.

Why did the Bears give Fuller the transition tag?

Fuller was a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and had a pair of interceptions as part of a strong 2017 season after missing all of 2016 with a knee injury. "This allows us to continue to work together on a long-term deal".

Bears general manager Ryan Pace expressed interest in retaining Fuller at last week's National Football League scouting combine. He collected three interceptions and two forced fumbles in his first three games of his rookie season.