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The Shadow
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Kyle Fuller is not having a good time in Denver
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Kyle Fuller Is Not Having A Great Time In Denver

By

Erik Lambert

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.

The Shadow
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Re: Kyle Fuller is not having a good time in Denver
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Sounds like Kyle should have stayed put!

Could this be a precursor of the Bears being more Belechick like?

Part with Veterans when it suits the team and not the player?

2021  At least I am not a Lions Fan!

Fire Nagy now!

 

Calbrooks
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Re: Kyle Fuller is not having a good time in Denver
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The Shadow wrote:

Sounds like Kyle should have stayed put!

Could this be a precursor of the Bears being more Belechick like?

Part with Veterans when it suits the team and not the player?

As hard as it is to see your favorite players leave, it almost always is better to unload while they have some value. Especially if you can before giving them a heavy contract so you can trade for something vs just cutting them. And of course use that draft capital to constantly have younger replacements ready. 
 

Baby steps, but maybe Pace will figure it out.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

The Shadow
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Re: Kyle Fuller is not having a good time in Denver
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After high-profile signing, Broncos have benched Kyle Fuller

Posted by Michael David Smith on October 22, 2021, 11:21 AM EDT

When the Broncos signed free agent cornerback Kyle Fuller to a one-year, $9.5 million contract in March, it looked like a perfect pairing: Fuller had developed into a Pro Bowler in Chicago when Broncos coach Vic Fangio was the Bears’ defensive coordinator, and now he’s reuniting with Fangio in Denver.

It hasn’t worked out. At all.

In Thursday night’s loss to the Browns, Fuller didn’t see the field. He and backup quarterback Drew Lock were the only players on the Broncos’ active roster who didn’t get in the game.

Last week, Fuller played only two snaps in the Broncos’ loss to the Raiders. That was the fewest snaps played by anyone on the Broncos’ defense in that game.

Fuller was not listed on the injury report for either game, so this isn’t a matter of him not being healthy enough to play. The Broncos just don’t think he’s good enough to play.

That’s a significant departure from the start of the season: Fuller started the first five games of the season and played at least 90 percent of the defensive snaps in all five of them. But after the Broncos’ loss to the Steelers in Week Five, Fangio expressed frustration with how poorly Fuller had played, and since then Fuller has barely played at all.

There’s been some talk out of Denver that the Broncos could trade Fuller, but realistically, why would any team want to trade for him at this point? If he’s not good enough to get any playing time in Denver, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for his ability to contribute elsewhere.

And so Fuller appears set to remain on the Broncos’ bench, and remain one of this year’s most disappointing free agent signings.

*****

I guess it is much harder to play when you are not behind Kahlil Mack, Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks! Especially when your style is to play 10 yards off your opponent. Fuller had his day, but it never lasts. Maybe he should have taken that pay cut the Bears offered, he might still be playing football, instead of watching it.

2021  At least I am not a Lions Fan!

Fire Nagy now!

 

Sluggobear
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Re: Kyle Fuller is not having a good time in Denver
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I agree with you Cal. The Bears seem to overpay for underperforming players, Contracts should not be 4+ years and so much guaranteed money. What do Nick Foles, Eddie Jackson, and Robert Quinn have in common. Being paid big dollars and underperforming. Quinn is average if you combine last year and this year, There needs to be a base salary and a maximum bonus, if a player has a great year or no bonus if they  under perform. The other issue is it is hard to trade a big contract with so much guaranteed money.

The Shadow
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Re: Kyle Fuller is not having a good time in Denver
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Sluggobear wrote:

I agree with you Cal. The Bears seem to overpay for underperforming players, Contracts should not be 4+ years and so much guaranteed money. What do Nick Foles, Eddie Jackson, and Robert Quinn have in common. Being paid big dollars and underperforming. Quinn is average if you combine last year and this year, There needs to be a base salary and a maximum bonus, if a player has a great year or no bonus if they  under perform. The other issue is it is hard to trade a big contract with so much guaranteed money.

Also, kicking the can, converting salary to bonus money makes the dead money at contracts end way to high, making a cut or trade financially unfeasible. Julius Peppers had his contract changed every year he was a Bear to free up Cap Space. Bears were still paying off those moves when he was playing for the Packers and the Panthers. Makes no sense. Hampers the team from finding a replacement because they have no money.

I would much rather see fully guaranteed contracts but of a shorter length given out.  Then the Team can move on, if a player does an Eddie Jackson, filling his pockets but forgetting what got him that payday.

 

2021  At least I am not a Lions Fan!

Fire Nagy now!

 

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