Kyle Fuller Is Not Having A Great Time In Denver
Oct 10, 2021
The Chicago Bears had some tough decisions to make this offseason. With the salary cap plunging due to losses from last season, some of their higher-priced veterans would likely need to be sacrificed. One of them ended up being cornerback Kyle Fuller. GM Ryan Pace tried to see if the man would accept a pay cut to stay. Unsurprisingly, Fuller said no. So the Bears granted him his release after failing to find a trade partner.
Pace was blasted for that decision at the time. Why would he deliberately weaken the secondary when he knows the array of quarterbacks this team had to play this season? While somewhat fair given other moves he could’ve made (hello Jimmy Graham), sometimes a GM has to make a tough business decision. He felt the ascent of Jaylon Johnson as a rookie was enough to validate moving on from Fuller who is approaching 30.
Now with the benefit of hindsight? He might’ve made the right call.
Fuller knew exactly where he wanted to go after leaving Chicago. He signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos to reunite with Vic Fangio. It seemed like such a steal for that team. They already had some really good players in the secondary. Adding a former All-Pro was icing on the cake. Nobody could’ve predicted the start he’d have to this year. Probably one of the worst in a long time.
Going into the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fuller allowed 13 completions on 23 targets for 189 yards and a touchdown. He has no interceptions and just two pass breakups to this point. Those numbers will get worse after Sunday given what the video above shows. Nobody wants to admit the corner might be slowing down, but it sure looks that way. Perhaps the Bears made the right call.
Kyle Fuller is a lesson in NFL business
Unless the player is an all-time great, the smart thing to do is unload veterans before their career starts to dip. Not after. Fuller is shaping up to be the perfect example. Chicago got some outstanding years from him between 2017 and 2020 and then got out from under his contract right before he started slipping. It’s not a fun thing to do but it is a necessity for teams that wish to be successful long-term.
Kyle Fuller was a really good player for the Bears, but he was not irreplaceable. Johnson might actually end up being better. He is currently rated among the best in the NFL so far this season. Further validation that Pace and the coaches made the right call. While it’s true the defense does have issues at the other corner positions, those can be fixed with a little time.
Likely far cheaper too.
Perhaps Fuller would’ve stayed in Chicago if the cap hadn’t dropped as it did. This is another reminder that sometimes uncontrollable things steer these decisions. Hopefully, the cornerback is able to rebound because he deserves more success. Still, the decision to part with him seems a bit more justified now.