Before Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller signed an offer sheet with the Packers, the best offer the Bears had made to him averaged $10 million per year, per a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Fuller emerges instead with a four-year deal worth $14 million per year.
The deal includes an $18 million signing bonus, payable within 10 days. Contrast that with the $13 million transition tender, which would have been paid out in 17 installments from September through December.
The deal also includes a $1 million base salary in 2018, $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses, and a $500,000 workout bonus. That’s cash flow of $20 million in the first year.
The cash flow through two years is $29 million, and it’s $42 million through three. The full value of the deal is $56 million over four.
The structure reflects what the Packers do with every player except Aaron Rodgers: No guarantees beyond the signing bonus. The fact that the Packers extended the offer sheet continues to be surprising, in part because it goes against their past approach to free agency, and in part because the money and cap space could have been tied up for as many as five days, if the Bears had decided to take their full allotment of time to ponder whether to match.
The end result is that the Packers negotiated the deal for the Bears, at no cost to Chicago. At a minimum, the Bears should give Abe Froman a call and send a gift basket full of pork products to Green Bay.