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Bears GM Ryan Pace Has Honest Response To Releasing All-Pro Player

A Chicago Bears helmet sitting on the field.

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 05: A Chicago Bears helmet rests on the ground during pregame warmups against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on October 5, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Through this year's unprecedented COVID-19 offseason, NFL GMs have been forced to make some pretty tough roster decisions in order to stay under the league's cap limit.

Chicago Bears executive Ryan Pace is one of those GMs.

Pace, the franchise's general manager since 2015, signed star corner back Kyle Fuller to a four-year, $56 million deal back in 2018. With Fuller coming of a First-Team All-Pro season, the massive extension seemed like a good idea at the time -- but it's slowly proved more than the Bears can afford.

Pace and the Chicago front office cut their star DB earlier this offseason. While Fuller's play certainly took a dip in 2020, the longtime Bears GM insists that the decision was based solely on cap restrictions.

“We knew what we were gonna be in for. We knew we had to make some tough decisions,” Pace said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “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.”

Following his league-leading seven-interception season that landed him his contract extension in 2018, Fuller continued his solid play with a three-pick year in 2019. 2020 was the worst season of the two-time Pro Bowler's NFL career so far, posting career lows in interceptions (1) and defended passes (8).

Almost immediately after his release from the Bears, Fuller was snatched up by Vic Fangio and the Denver Broncos.