Al Galdi explains why he loves the Washington Football Team bringing back Kendall Fuller and is fine with them not signing James Bradberry or Byron Jones.
On the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period we had multiple reports that the Washington Football Team had agreed with unrestricted free-agent corner Kendall Fuller on a four-year contract worth about $40 million.
The Washington Football Team took Fuller, who went to Good Counsel High School, in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech. He was considered a potential first-round talent but fell in the draft due to having undergone micro-fracture surgery on his right knee while at Virginia Tech in Sept. 2015.
Fuller had a shaky 2016 rookie season, but the knee held up, and he in 2017 blossomed into an excellent slot corner. Fuller’s grade for the 2017 season per Pro Football Focus was a 90.6, which falls into the category of “elite.” He was ranked as the No. 1 slot defender for the 2017 season by Bleacher Report’s NFL 1000. According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, “one Washington player said…that Kendall Fuller graded out as team’s best defensive player this season.”
The Washington Football Team in March 2018 officially traded Fuller and a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith.
Fuller played in 26 of a possible 32 regular-season games over his two seasons (2018 and 2019) with the Chiefs. Fuller’s overall grade for the 2019 regular season per Pro Football Focus was 61.4 over 11 games. Fuller’s overall grade for the 2018 regular season per PFF was 71.7 over 15 games.
The 2020 season will be Fuller’s age-25 season.
The last time the Washington Football Team were top-10 in the NFL in third-down defense was in 2017, when they ranked No. 7 in lowest opponents’ third-down efficiency (36.73 percent). Two of the Skins’ top three corners that season in terms of playing time were Fuller and Bashaud Breeland. The Washington Football Team in 2018 were No. 29 in the NFL in lowest opponents’ third-down efficiency (43.88 percent). The Washington Football Team in 2019 were No. 32 – dead last – in the NFL in lowest opponents’ third-down efficiency (48.9 percent).
Yesterday we also had multiple reports that unrestricted free-agent corner James Bradberry had agreed with the New York Giants on a three-year, $45 million contract with $32 million in guarantees.
ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL insider Jeremy Fowler on Saturday morning, Feb. 29, 2020, tweeted that multiple sources from the NFL Scouting Combine told him that James Bradberry is aiming for $15 million or more per year and that the Washington Football Team are among the teams that are expected to be involved for him. Fowler added that Brdberry, Dallas Cowboys free-agent corner Byron Jones and others planned to reset the cornerback market.
Jets insider Connor Hughes of The Athletic New York on March 10, 2020, tweeted that the Washington Football Team might not be as invested in James Bradberry him as many originally believed.
Bradberry is a Ron Rivera guy, having played for the Carolina Panthers for four seasons (2016-2019). The Panthers took Bradberry with the next-to-last pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Samford. He essentially replaced Josh Norman in Carolina, including wearing the No. 24.
The Panthers ranked No. 11 in the NFL in pass defense per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric in three of Bradberry’s four seasons with the team (2016, 2017 and 2019). Bradberry played a ton in each of those seasons. He in 2016 as a rookie played on 74.7 percent of the Panthers’ defensive snaps. He in 2017 played on 99 percent of the Panthers’ defensive snaps. And he in 2019 played on 92.39 percent of the Panthers’ defensive snaps.
But for whatever it’s worth, Pro Football Focus has not been kind to Bradberry. He has failed to eclipse a coverage grade of 65.0 in each of the last three seasons (2017-2019).
Bradberry has been durable, having played in 60 of a possible 64 regular-season games over his four seasons. He led all Panthers corners in defensive snaps in each of the last three seasons (2017-2019).
The 2020 season will be Bradberry’s age-27 season.
Then we had multiple reports that the Miami Dolphins had agreed with unrestricted free-agent corner Byron Jones on a contract – a five-year, $82.5 million contract that includes $57 million in guarantees per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter
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Al Galdi: Why We Should Love The Washington Football Team Bringing Back Kendall Fuller was originally published on theteam980.com