Will Fuller

Teams Looking Into WR Will Fuller

After a strong start to the 2020 season, Will Fuller saw a PED suspension stonewall his path toward his first 1,000-yard year. The injury-prone wide receiver then played in just three games in 2021. As a result, the former first-round pick has not been mentioned too often this offseason.

But it looks like the deep threat will have a chance somewhere soon. Multiple teams are monitoring Fuller, according to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com, but he is unlikely to land anywhere until at least preseason games are underway. A late-preseason signing appears likelier than a deal coming together this week, Wilson adds (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Assessing Fuller’s Free Agency Stock]

At 28, Fuller is younger than the other big receiver names still left on the market — one that includes Emmanuel Sanders (35), Cole Beasley (33), T.Y. Hilton (32) and Odell Beckham Jr. (29). Fuller also comes with injury baggage that even predates the health troubles Beckham has experienced.

Fuller’s next 16-game season will be his first. In addition to the ACL tear Fuller suffered in 2018, he missed 14 games during his Dolphins year. A broken finger sustained in October, and a subsequent setback, led to Fuller being sidelined for most of his Dolphins time. Fuller, however, does not come with the present injury baggage Beckham brings. OBJ is not expected to be full-go until maybe November.

The Dolphins gave Fuller a one-year, $10MM deal. That pact came after Fuller’s career-best 879-yard season in 2020. Coming off another injury, Fuller should not be expected to land a deal in that neighborhood. But he has flashed talent throughout his career. Teams having a better idea of what they have at receiver during the preseason, though that would be cutting it a bit close for a wideout addition, could point to Fuller’s free agency stay ending.

The Cowboys seeing James Washington go down with what could be a Jones fracture would figure to put them on the receiver radar. The Packers, who have been connected to Fuller in the past, pursued Julio Jones. Their unusual receiver situation should at least point to reconsidering the former Texans trade candidate. The Colts have come up in receiver searches as well, though they remain more likely to reach another deal with Hilton. Another team losing a key receiver in the coming weeks, particularly a downfield target, could drive up Fuller’s market.

Free Agent Stock Watch: WR Will Fuller

Will Fuller has had an up-and-down NFL career to date, and it may now stand at something of a crossroads. He currently finds himself among an interesting crop of free agent receivers seeking new deals well after teams have done the bulk of their roster retooling. 

After two straight hugely productive seasons to finish his college career at Notre Dame, in which he totalled over 2,300 yards and 29 touchdowns, Fuller was one of the top receiver prospects in the 2016 draft class. He was the second wideout to hear his name called, going 21st overall to the Texans. That set him up in a favorable situation to begin his pro career.

Landing in Houston allowed Fuller to serve as an effective compliment to DeAndre Hopkins, given his vertical speed and field-stretching ability. He was an integral part of the team’s passing offense during his rookie season, as he saw a career-high 92 targets. Unfortunately, that year was also the one in which he saw the most time on the field, appearing in 14 contests.

Injuries have been a constant in the 28-year-old’s NFL tenure, unlike those final two years in college which made him so highly regarded. During his five seasons in Houston, he missed 27 total games, mostly due to injury. Part of that total also came from a six-game PED suspension, which was handed down late in the 2020 season. Despite the missed time, Fuller still put up career-best totals that year in receptions (53), yards (879) and touchdowns (eight).

That made him one of the top available free agents last offseason, as he hit the open market for the first time in his career. He signed with the Dolphins, a team which also added Jaylen Waddle in the draft as part of their WR overhaul. The deal carried a value of over $10MM, but was only one year in length and included incentives, as the team clearly had concerns about his availability.

Those proved to be well-founded; after missing the first week of the season due to the suspension, Fuller was also absent for Week 2 as a result of a non-injury-related matter. In October, he then suffered a broken finger, adding further to the list of ailments which have proved increasingly cumbersome to his career. The injury wasn’t expected to end his season, but it ultimately did limit him to just two games played. After recording four scoreless receptions, it comes as little surprise that Fuller is still a free agent this late into free agency.

As shown by his 16.6 yards per catch average in 2020, though, he has the ability to make a significant impact as a complimentary receiver when healthy. That qualifies him as one of the best remaining wideouts on the market, as the likes of Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. have significant injury concerns of their own. A number of teams looking for veteran pass-catchers could stand to add him.

One such team is the Ravens, who were recently named as a logical destination for Fuller. The team traded away Marquise Brown during the draft, so they could use him as a replacement for Brown’s speed. Baltimore currently ranks second-last in the league in cap space, however, so any deal would need to be a short-term, low-cost one like that given to Sammy Watkins last year.

Other potential landing spots include the Colts (who have yet to re-sign T.Y. Hilton, or a similar compliment to Michael Pittman Jr.) and Packers (who considered trading for Fuller in 2020 and lost their top two WRs this offseason). Wherever he signs, Fuller could prove to be an effective addition given the right team fit and a bit of injury-related luck.

Ravens A Viable Destination For Free Agent WRs?

Historically known as a franchise left out of contention for free agent wide receivers to join, the Ravens may find themselves in unfamiliar territory. According to PFF’s Doug Kyed, Baltimore was labelled by a source as “an attractive landing spot” for veterans still on the open market. 

The Ravens have seen a number of changes to their WR room this offseason. Departures at the position include Miles Boykin being claimed off waivers by the Steelers, and Sammy Watkins signing with the Packers after his one-year stint in Baltimore. The most impactful loss, of course, was that of Marquise Brown, whose trade request was honored during the draft when he was dealt to the Cardinals.

Those moves left the team thin on the depth chart, and with very little experience at the position. 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman is slated to become the No. 1 wideout in Brown’s absence, and will look to build off of an injury-shortened rookie campaign in which he flashed potential. The rest of the position group is led by Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace – a trio which has combined to make 72 catches in the NFL.

That left many expecting the Ravens to select at least one wideout during the draft; while the team did add pass-catchers in the form of tight ends Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely, no perimeter players were brought in. Free agency then represented the next avenue by which additions could be made, something general manager Eric DeCosta acknowledged when speaking about the roster.

“We like our receivers, we do” he said last month, adding, “we will add players to the mix. We’re doing that right now, and we’ll look at veteran players as well.” One such veteran is Will Fuller, whom Kyed names as a logical candidate for Baltimore to sign. The 28-year-old could add a speed element which was lost with Brown being traded away, and would, in all likelihood, represent another short-term, low-cost commitment the team has regularly made at the position. Baltimore could also consider T.Y. Hilton, who returned to the Colts in 2021 after receiving a larger offer from the Ravens.

With a roster spot and, quite possibly, a healthy number of targets available, those two and other wideouts still searching for a home may consider coming to Baltimore more than others have in recent years.

Titans Eyeing Another WR Addition?

The receiver room has seen plenty of turnover in Tennessee this offseason. Despite the changes already made, more could be on the way in the near future. 

According to Jim Wyatt of TennesseTitans.com, there is a strong chance of “another addition before the season at receiver”. The top of the depth chart at this time last season consisted of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, of course, but that led to mixed results on the field.

Despite having the worst statistical season of his three-year career, Brown easily led the team in receiving yards with 869. Jones, meanwhile, was only able to suit up for ten contests and likewise had a career-worst season. Overall, the team ranked 23rd in the league in the passing game; as the AFC’s top seed, however, they were obviously able to enjoy a high degree of success without an efficient aerial attack.

Not surprisingly, given his injury troubles and lack of production, Jones was released in March. That left the team looking – for the second straight offseason – for a new compliment to Brown, after seeing Corey Davis depart in free agency one year earlier. Days later, they traded for Robert Woods with the aim of accomplishing that very goal.

Woods had become expendable for the Rams, given their signing of Allen Robinson and potential reunion with Odell Beckham Jr. However, when he makes his Titans debut, he won’t be doing so alongside Brown, as the team envisioned when they acquired him. After it became clear a new contract couldn’t be agreed upon with the latter, he was traded to the Eagles in exchange for a first round pick during Day 1 of the draft.

With that selection, the Titans added Treylon Burks. One of the most unique receiving prospects in this year’s class, he should have a clear path to playing time alongside Woods and returnee Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Other than Beckham, remaining free agents include Will Fuller, T.Y. Hilton and Cole Beasley. Any of those could provide a short-term boost to the passing game as the Titans look to integrate new receiving pieces into their offense.

Dolphins’ Will Fuller Done For Year?

The Dolphins don’t expect to see wide receiver Will Fuller return this season, according to head coach Brian Flores (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald). Fuller, who has been out with a broken finger since early October, has suffered a setback in his recovery that will require even more rest. 

Fuller has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. Even before the finger fracture, he already missed 29 regular season games. Now, he’s looking at more than 40 missed games between 2016 and 2021.

The Dolphins had high hopes for Fuller, who enjoyed his best season to date in 2020. After he notched 879 receiving yards and career-high eight scores for the Texans, the ‘Fins inked him to a one-year, $10.6MM deal. His season will end with a grand total of four catches for 26 yards in two games.

On the plus side, the Dolphins expect to have Jaylen Waddle back for Monday night’s game against the Saints. Barring any new signings, that’ll leave the Dolphins with Waddle, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Mack Hollins, Preston Williams, and Isaiah Ford at WR.

AFC East Notes: Watson, White, Pats

The much-discussed Deshaun Watson trade between the Dolphins and Texans never came to fruition, in part because Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted Watson to settle the 22 civil suits that have been brought against him. As Jeff Howe of The Athletic writes, Ross also wanted to speak with Watson directly and requested permission to do so, but because there was no chance that Watson’s legal situation would be resolved by the November 2 trade deadline, there was no point in having a conversation just yet.

However, if Houston and Miami reopen talks this offseason, it seems that a sit-down between Ross and Watson will be necessary before a deal can be struck.

Now for more from the AFC East, starting with another item out of South Beach:

  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wonders if the Dolphins will consider parting ways with WR DeVante Parker this offseason. Though Parker has been effective when he has been on the field in 2021, he is now on IR and has played in just five games this year. Plus, the ‘Fins could save $6.2MM by making him a post-June 1 cut, though that would leave the club with even more work to do to address the receiving corps, as Will Fuller and Albert Wilson are not expected to be back. Jackson does believe Mack Hollins will be retained.
  • Jets QB Mike White, who led the club to a surprising win over the Bengals in Week 8 and who was playing well in New York’s Week 9 loss to the Colts before he was forced out with an early injury, is hugely popular in the Gang Green locker room, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. White’s journey and attitude have earned the respect of his teammates and have energized the building, and as Cimini writes in a separate piece, the 2018 fifth-rounder may have already made himself a nice chunk of change. He is playing the 2021 season on a one-year, $850K contract, but he will become a restricted free agent at season’s end. He should at least be in line for an original-round tender of $2.4MM, and he could force the Jets to tender him at the second-round level, which would net him $3.9MM.
  • It certainly didn’t create many headlines, but the Patriots plucked LB Calvin Munson off the Dolphins‘ practice squad several weeks ago. The 26-year-old has only seen action on special teams with his new club, but New England clearly thinks highly of him. Per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the Pats gave Munson a contract that runs though 2022 and that included a bit of a pay bump. A number of the Patriots’ off-ball linebackers are slated for free agency at the end of the year, so Munson could have a shot at more significant playing time next season.
  • Patriots DL Byron Cowart opened the season on the reserve/PUP list. Though he returned to practice in October, the 21-day window for activating him off the PUP list has expired, as veteran NFL writer Aaron Wilson tweets. As such, Cowart, who started 14 games last year, will be forced to miss the entire 2021 campaign.

Dolphins To Place Will Fuller On IR

The Dolphins are placing Will Fuller on the injured reserve list with a broken finger (Twitter link via Cameron Wolfe of NFL.com). It’s a short-term malady, but it’s undoubtedly frustrating for the oft-injured wide receiver. 

Fuller broke his finger during Sunday’s loss to the Colts. Even before this, he already missed 29 regular season games, including two in 2021. He was suspended for Week 1 due to PEDs and was out for a non-injury-related reason in Week 2.

The Dolphins had (and still have) high hopes for Fuller, who enjoyed his best season to date in 2020. After he notched 879 receiving yards and career-high eight scores, the ‘Fins signed the 27-year-old to a one-year, $10.6MM deal. In his two games so far, he’s got four catches for 26 yards.

The Dolphins offense is hurting at the moment with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also on injured reserve. With Fuller out of the lineup, backup QB Jacoby Brissett will be targeting the likes of sixth-overall pick Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker, and 2020 opt-out Albert Wilson.

Sunday’s loss dropped the Dolphins to 1-3 on the year. They’ll look to rebound on Sunday against the defending champs in Tampa.

Dolphins WR Will Fuller Out With Broken Finger

Will Fuller has had a tough time avoiding injuries during his career, and the wideout is dealing with a new ailment. Fuller broke a finger during yesterday’s loss to the Colts “and is expected to be week-to-week,” reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).

Fuller has missed a long list of games throughout his career (29 regular season contests, to be exact). That includes two games earlier this season; Fuller missed Week 1 while serving a suspension, and he missed the next game due to a non-injury-related reason. Now, he’ll miss at least another game thanks to a broken finger.

Fuller inked a one-year, $10.6MM deal with the Dolphins this past offseason. The 27-year-old was coming off his best professional season, as he finished with a career-high 879 receiving yards and career-high eight scores in only 11 games with the Texans. Through two games this season, the receiver has hauled in only four receptions for 26 yards.

The Dolphins offense is hurting at the moment with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sitting on injured reserve. With Fuller out of the lineup, backup QB Jacoby Brissett will be targeting the likes of sixth-overall pick Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker, and 2020 opt-out Albert Wilson.

Dolphins WR Will Fuller Returns To Team

Will Fuller is back in Miami. The offseason acquisition has returned to the team, coach Brian Flores said today (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter).

This means the veteran wideout should be ready to make his Dolphins debut this weekend in Las Vegas. Fuller missed Week 1 thanks to a now-completed PED suspension. He was expected to play in Week 2, but he was ruled out for a non-injury-related reason. We never got a definitive explanation for Fuller’s absence yesterday, but Flores made it clear that the receiver had the organiation’s support.

After spending the first five seasons of his career with the Texans, Fuller inked a one-year, $10.6MM deal with the Dolphins this past offseason. The 27-year-old is coming off his best professional season, as he finished with a career-high 879 receiving yards and career-high eight scores in only 11 games. Fuller, of course, has missed a number of games throughout his career, with Sunday’s absence being his 29th missed game since entering the league in 2016.

In Miami, he’ll provide the up-and-coming offense with another electric option. Besides signing Fuller, the team also selected Jaylen Waddle sixth overall, pairing the two new additions with DeVante Parker and 2020 opt-out Albert Wilson.

Dolphins’ Will Fuller To Miss Week 2

Will Fuller‘s Dolphins debut is again on hold. For a second straight week, the veteran wide receiver will miss a game for a non-injury-related reason.

The Dolphins will be without their new deep threat against the Bills due to what Brian Flores called a personal matter. Fuller missed Miami’s Week 1 game because of a PED suspension that is now complete. The recently signed pass catcher practiced Wednesday but was absent for Thursday and Friday’s Dolphins workouts.

He has my support. Things happen,” Flores said, via ESPN.com’s Marcel Louis-Jacques. “When they happen, they’re not part of normal every day, it’s a surprise from that standpoint. He’s dealing with it.”

After five seasons with the Texans, Fuller signed a one-year, $10.6MM deal with the Dolphins. Absences have plagued the talented receiver throughout his career, however. Sunday will be Fuller’s 29th missed game since coming into the league a 2016 first-round pick. Injuries caused Fuller’s run of absences from 2016-19. He began serving a six-game PED ban in Week 13 of last season.

Fuller is coming off his best season. Despite playing in just 11 games, he totaled a career-high 879 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches (also a career-best total) in his final Houston slate. How the Notre Dame product builds on that this year will determine if he can land a long-term contract from the Dolphins or another team as a 2022 free agent.

Miami made Fuller a key piece of its offseason receiver revamp effort. After rolling out a shorthanded receiving corps last season, the Dolphins signed Fuller and drafted Jaylen Waddle sixth overall. They also have Albert Wilson back from a 2020 opt-out. The team will not see this trio and DeVante Parker together until at least Week 3.