Five members of the 2019 secondary are among the Kansas City Chiefs‘ two dozen impending free agents set to hit the open market on March 18. The group is headlined by veteran cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Bashaud Breeland, but it’s the youngest member of the class, CB/S Kendall Fuller, that offers the most intriguing upside.
The 25-year-old defensive back played out the final year of his rookie contract last season, his second with the Chiefs after the team acquired him from the Washington Redskins during the 2018 offseason. Fuller and a third-round draft pick were the Chiefs’ compensation for then-starting QB Alex Smith who continues to recover from a gruesome spiral fracture injury and infection.
Following a 3-13 last place finish in the NFC East last year, The Athletic’s Redskins reporter Ben Standig wrote on Monday that Washington could be exploring a reunion with their 2016 third-round draft choice as the team searches for upgrades in the secondary.
The connection with one of [Ron] Rivera’s former Carolina players, cornerback James Bradberry, is obvious, and “mutual interest” exists between the two sides. Former Redskin Kendall Fuller, coming off a Super Bowl title with the Chiefs, is another possible target for Washington, according to a source.
Fuller started 15 games in 2018 before transitioning to a reserve role for the Chiefs during their Super Bowl run last year. Despite playing fewer snaps in 2019, Fuller was a versatile piece in Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive unit, especially in the wake of S Juan Thornhill’s season-ending ACL injury in late December. The 5’11,” 198-pound defender has posted 228 total tackles, 26 pass deflections and six interceptions throughout his first four seasons in the NFL.
Fuller earned a base salary of approximately $2 million last year, receiving the bulk of his four-year, $3.1 million rookie deal. Kansas City’s salary cap allotment, currently hovering in the $17 million range, proposes significant roster restraints for the defending Super Bowl champions. While the safety position is in good hands between Thornhill and Tyrann Mathieu, the cornerback position will need to be addressed via free agency and/or the NFL Draft in April.
The Chiefs’ financial standing paired with Fuller’s age, past production and upside, makes it more likely that the fourth-year defensive back finds himself in a different shade of red and gold in 2020.
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