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Ryan Pace: Cutting Kyle Fuller was unavoidable

The Bears’ GM said he explored all options — including a trade — but the reduced cap for 2021 forced his hand. He feels fortunate to get former Pro Bowl CB Desmond Trufant to replace Fuller.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) was a two-time Pro Bowl player in seven seasons with the Bears.
Cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) was a two-time Pro Bowl player in seven seasons with the Bears.
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Bears explored all options before releasing two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Kyle Fuller — including a contract revision and a trade. But the painful roster move was unavoidable in a year the salary cap dropped from $198.2 million to $182.5 million because of coronavirus-related revenue losses, general manager Ryan Pace said Friday.

“We knew what we were gonna be in for,’’ Pace said. ‘‘We knew we had to make some tough decisions. You saw throughout the league some teams releasing multiple starters. Every team had hard decisions to make [in] a year where projection with the cap is almost a $30 million difference of where it projected to be.

“With us, it came down to one player, but we plan these things far in advance. We always have contingency plans. And we wish Kyle nothing but the best.”

Fuller signed a one-year contract with the Broncos for a reported $9.5 million.

Pace mitigated the damage by signing former Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant to a one-year contract. The Bears also are counting on the development of Jaylon Johnson and backup Kindle Vildor to fill the void.


Pace again indicated he is not concerned that wide receiver Allen Robinson’s unhappiness with being given the franchise tag will affect his 2021 season.

“We tagged him for a reason — he’s a really good player,” Pace said. “We’re glad he’s part of our team. We know he’ll be here in 2021. It’s a resource we have that we’ll use, and we’ll continue to work through it.”