The Chicago Bears will decline their fifth-year option on cornerback Kyle Fuller for the 2018 season, general manager Ryan Pace confirmed Saturday.
Fuller, the 14th overall pick in 2014, sat out last season after having arthroscopic knee surgery. The Bears hoped to activate Fuller late in the season and designated him to return off of injured reserve, but the cornerback said his knee never responded to the point he could play.
The Bears moved quickly to sign two new starting cornerbacks in free agency — Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper — and guaranteed both substantial sums of money for the 2017 season. Fuller might face an uphill battle to even make the Bears’ 53-man roster.
Fuller’s fall from grace was rapid. From 2014-15, Fuller started 30 games, intercepted six passes and forced three fumbles. He earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors as a rookie when he picked off two passes in a road victory at San Francisco.
But Fuller never seemed to mesh with the current coaching staff and could be on the outside looking in. Regardless, Fuller’s $1.740 million base salary is fully guaranteed. The Bears will have to carry $3.082 million in dead money if Fuller is released.