Grading Will Fuller V’s deal with the Miami Dolphins: B+

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Mark Schofield
·2 min read
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The Miami Dolphins have reached a deal with a free agent wide receiver, adding the speedy Will Fuller into the fold for the 2021 NFL season. According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the deal with Miami is for one-year at $10 million with “significant upside.”

What could make this deal a success with the Dolphins is if Fuller can stay healthy. That has been the biggest issue throughout his career. Furthermore, Fuller is still facing the final game of his six-game suspension under the league’s policy against performance enhancements.

But do not forget friends:

Speed kills.

That’s why even with the injury history and the hamstring issues, Fuller is still among the top tier of free agent options. Because when it comes down to it, the ability of a wide receiver to simply just run by a guy is unmatched in the NFL:

This is not a coverage bust or anything like this, this is simply Fuller lining up and running right past the coverage for six points. Scheme fit does not matter when you can do this four or five times a game. There is also that trickle-down effect on the rest of the offense, in that Fuller can open up the rest of the field for his teammates as coverage is rotated in his direction. If he is attracting consistent safety attention over-the-top, that means a lighter box for the run game or more real estate for receivers to attack underneath.

Again, things you cannot teach.

So yes, Fuller has yet to play a full 16 game season, and you might be expecting more of the same in 2021 given his history. But he is coming off a career-year, with 53 receptions for 879 yards and eight touchdowns, all of which represent career-high numbers. The Dolphins are making a clear bet that he can reach those numbers, provided he stays healthy.