Bears Rumors: Kyle Fuller Released After 7 Years with CHI; Broncos Interested

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 18, 2021

Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) during an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in New Orleans. The Saints defeated the Bears 21-9. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

The Chicago Bears have reportedly released cornerback Kyle Fuller after seven years with the team, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Rapoport clarified that the move was made to clear cap space for the Bears. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune noted that the Bears would have taken a $20 million cap hit by keeping Fuller aboard.

ESPN's Dianna Russini then added the Bears initially asked Fuller to stick around following a significant pay cut, but the ex-Virginia Tech star decided to test free agency instead.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Denver Broncos are expected to make a "strong push" for the cornerback:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

The #Broncos are expected to make a strong push for CB Kyle Fuller once his release is official, sources say. Vic Fangio coached him with the #Bears, while George Paton had a close look at him annually while with the #Vikings.

The two-time Pro Bowler and 2018 All-Pro has 390 tackles, 82 passes defended and 19 interceptions for his career with the Bears, who took Fuller with the 14th overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft.

Fuller started for the Bears in 2014 and 2015 and again from 2017-2020. He missed the 2016 season with a knee injury.

Fuller's best season was in 2018, when he led the NFL with seven interceptions and 21 passes defended.

Pro Football Focus graded Fuller as the 55th-best cornerback in the NFL last season. He did well, though, allowing just 55.4 percent of targets in his coverage to be completed, per Pro Football Reference. Opposing quarterbacks only completed 6.3 yards per target.

Fuller also rarely came off the field, playing 99 percent of the team's defensive snaps.

As NFL Update noted, the free-agent cornerback market is loaded with talent, especially with Fuller now available to speak with other teams. The 29-year-old joins a group that includes Richard Sherman, Casey Hayward, Adoree Jackson, Malcolm Butler and more.

Ultimately, the Bears' loss should be another team's gain. Fuller is two years removed from an excellent season, and while 2020 wasn't up to that All-Pro standard, he can absolutely be a solid NFL starting cornerback into his 30s.

He has a lot of competition on the market given the amount of quality defensive backs out there, but Fuller shouldn't have much trouble finding a new home soon enough.