By Chris Emma–
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (670 The Score) — General manager Ryan Pace and the Bears have already begun conversations with the representation of impending free-agent cornerback Kyle Fuller.
The Bears are exploring the possibilities with the 26-year-old Fuller, their 2014 first-round pick, though Pace pointed toward the benefit of time ahead in making a decision. The team has until March 6 to tender the franchise tag to Fuller.
“Obviously, we like Kyle, he had a good season and we’re happy with the way he has progressed,” Pace said at the NFL Combine on Wednesday. “But those are things that are still on the table, and we’re still evaluating the process. We have some time.”
Cornerback is set to be a position of need for the Bears, who have just Marcus Cooper and Cre’Von LeBlanc under contract for the 2018 season. Cooper signed a three-year deal last March, and his status moving forward is still being evaluated by Pace and the Bears. Prince Amukamara will be an unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year deal last offseason, while Bryce Callahan will be a restricted free agent.
Pace sees the market for cornerback in both free agency and the draft as an asset to the Bears, though first comes exploring possibilities for Fuller.
The Bears last offseason opted to decline the fifth-year option on Fuller, which would’ve applied to the 2018 season. Should the team opt for the franchise tag, it opens a window through July 16 to negotiate a long-term deal while keeping Fuller from the open market.
Fuller had 69 tackles, two interceptions and 22 pass breakups in his breakout 2017 season.