Packers sign Bears' Kyle Fuller to offer sheet

Hours after it was reported Friday that the Green Bay Packers had signed Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller to an offer sheet, the Bears quickly matched it, keeping him in the fold. Rather than lose him for nothing to a division rival, the Bears apparently chose to pay up and keep Fuller in town as a potential foundational piece for their defense. There is no point for the Packers to rear load the contract to affect the Bears cap when Trubisky becomes a free agent because that money won't be guaranteed so the Bears could just restructure with Fuller with more guaranteed dollars if he's worth keeping, or let him walk once the deal runs out of guaranteed money if he's not.

The end result is that the Packers negotiated the deal for the Bears, at no cost to Chicago. That includes two picks he made while starting all 16 games in 2017. Chicago also owned the right to match any offer from other teams, without any compensation coming its way if it were to pass. If Green Bay's operatives use creative accounting to front-load the deal, however, it will be interesting to see if the contract's parameters alter their longstanding rival's plans.

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Fuller, a former first-round pick, was given the transition tag by the Bears before free agency opened.

As the story developed, NFL Network stated that the Bears plan to match whatever the offer is and that the first year isn't much different than what the Bears were going to pay Fuller on the tag. The $14 million annual average ranks fifth among all cornerbacks - $10,000 per year behind Patrick Peterson - and the guarantee ranks eighth.

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Now that they've missed out on Fuller, the Packers could resume their pursuit of ex-Washington Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland. If not, Gutekunst's NFC North rivals have to take on the contract.

Kyle Fuller will not be wearing green and gold next season.

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  • Theresa Obrien