The Green Bay Packers signed Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller to a lucrative offer sheet that would have helped solve their coverage problem, but the Bears didn’t wait more than a couple of hours to match the offer.
To get Fuller to sign the offer sheet, the Packers were probably surprised they only had to offer $18 million guaranteed since similar cornerbacks such as Trumaine Johnson ($45 million) and Malcolm Butler ($30 million) received far more. Usually a team will make the deal tough for the other team to stomach, but the Packers appear to have handed Fuller to them on a very digestible platter.
The transition-tag salary is based on the top 10 salary-cap numbers from the previous year at a given position. Once the player signs the one-year transition tender it becomes guaranteed, so at worst Fuller would have made $12.9 million this year.
The Packers would have had no problem coming up with the cash for a large signing bonus, but they aren’t busting at the seams with salary-cap space and signing a cornerback with a big salary would have eaten up a lot of what they have available.
The Colts have cut defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who they signed last March to a three-year, $27 million deal, in their second surprising move of the day.
The decision to cut Hankins comes when the Colts are moving to a new 4-3 defensive system under coordinator Matt Eberflus. This, according to a league source, was the driving force behind the decision to part with Hankins.
Hankins was a productive and disruptive player on the Colts’ defense in 2017, quickly becoming one of its best performers. He certainly demonstrated no lack of talent and lived up to the contract he was awarded. But in 2018, the switch to a speed-based defense appears to have changed the team’s view of Hankins’ fit. The major emphasis on speed and quickness would, theoretically, limit Hankins’ effectiveness in the new scheme.
Hankins, 25, immediately becomes a free agent, and a coveted one, at that.