INDIANAPOLIS – Free agent cornerback Kyle Fuller very much wants to stay with the Chicago Bears and intends to do all he can to make that happen, a source close to the team recently told Pro Football Weekly.
The issue at the moment is that there is a fairly wide range of compensation between the very good corners in the NFL and the great ones, and Fuller has no idea what his market value really is without testing it for the first time in his career. The 14th overall pick in 2014, the 26-year-old Fuller is coming off a career season in which he tallied 22 passes defensed and two interceptions in addition to 69 tackles.
But Fuller, who recorded three combined interceptions in his first three games in the NFL but just five since, slumped as a sophomore and missed his entire third season with a knee injury prior to bouncing back resoundingly last season.
The way I’m hearing it, Fuller is uncertain right now whether the Bears will use the franchise tag on him or not, but the suspicion is that they won’t. If they don’t, his plan is to test free agency, find out what his market value is and then do everything he can to get that money from the Bears and stay where he is.
It’s the smart play if he can pull it off.
Minimally, it’s likely to get the Bears near their best offer to keep him from testing the market, and as much as he may want to be a Bear, if another team comes in with a much stronger offer and the Bears are unwilling to match, it saves him from being tied to a deal that could leave him feeling permanently undervalued.
The story I’m getting, though, is that as long as they pay him fairly, Fuller is doing all he can to let the Bears know he wants to be in Chicago.