They placed the rarely used transition tag on Fuller only hours before the Tuesday deadline, rather than using the more expensive franchise tag or letting one of their most valuable defensive players leave as an unrestricted free agent.
Given Fuller's performance this year, the Bears made a decision to apply the transition tag, a designation that gives the Bears the opportunity to match any contract offer that Fuller agrees to.More news: Trump says United States will `counteract´ any Russian meddling in 2018 elections
The Bears just completed a 2017-18 campaign in which Chicago won just five games, marking their fourth straight losing season. However, in 2016-17, Fuller was forced to sit out the entire season after undergoing microscopic knee surgery. He needed it, after the team declined to exercise his fifth-year option.
In four National Football League seasons, Fuller has tallied eight interceptions, 41 passes defensed and 188 tackles across 48 appearances (46 starts).
By using the transition tag, the Bears secure the right to match any contract offer Fuller might receive from another team. Now the Bears should be able to hold onto him, and they'll save a little money compared to what they would have paid with the franchise tag. "This allows us to continue to work together on a long-term deal". The following year, Fuller once again played a full 16-game regular-season, tallying 54 stops in all, two interceptions and nine pass defenses. Fuller can sign a deal with another team through July 23.