A day after a credible report suggested the Chicago Bears would not be using either the franchise or transition tag this year, we now have one saying otherwise. The Bears will use the transition tag on cornerback Kyle Fuller, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
The transition tag pays the player a salary that equals the average of the top 10 highest-paid players at his position, and allows him to negotiate with other franchises. The team that applies the tag can match any offer sheet, but if they decline, the new team does not have to send anything in compensation.
Fuller is expected to make $12.97 million on the transition tag.
That’s different from the non-exclusive franchise tag, which carries the same financial commitment as the regular franchise tag (either the average salary of the top five highest-paid players at his position or 120 percent of his salary from the previous year, whichever is higher) but allows other teams to make offers. If the offer isn’t matched, the new team then has to send two first-round picks as compensation.
To make it easier: the Bears have an amount they’re willing to pay Fuller for one year and if another team eclipses that number, they’d be fine letting him go. That said, the team has until late July to negotiate a long-term deal with Fuller, which is their overall goal. In yesterday’s report that the Bears weren’t expected to use the tag, it was noted that the Bears have openly stated that all options are still available to them.
The San Francisco 49ers have a big need at cornerback and Fuller, when healthy, would certainly fill that need. He’s not quite out of their grasp fully at this point, but this hurts their chances of landing a top talent.