Fuller is one of the more intriguing free agent wide receiver targets remaining and with injuries springing up during training camp, his market has significantly increased. The Browns have dealt with some tough early injuries in camp — including a scare with Amari Cooper — and could look to bring in the talented but injury-prone pass-catcher to help beef up their wide receiver corps.
Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reported on August 1 that multiple teams are monitoring Fuller but did not name those teams. He also noted that Fuller is likely to join a team later in the preseason.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Browns were one of those teams. Fuller has a history with quarterback Deshaun Watson, who will miss the first six games of the season — pending a potential appeal from the NFL — and would provide a veteran presence in what is a youthful group.
Fuller posted 53 catches for 879 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020 with Watson as his QB, although he missed five games with hamstring and groin injuries. He played just two games with the Dolphins last season after suffering a broken finger.
Multiple Browns Receivers Banged Up Early in Camp
The Browns have lots of cap space to work with and appear to be a logical fit for Fuller. However, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reported in May that he was “not currently on the radar” of the Browns.
But situations change and early training camp injuries that have disrupted Cleveland’s depth at the wide receiver position may have swayed the team’s interest.
The Browns waived undrafted rookie Isaiah Weston after suffering what is believed to be a torn ACL and rookie David Bell remains on the PUP list with a foot issue. Second-year receiver Anthony Schwartz is dealing with a knee injury he suffered on a non-contact play, but it isn’t expected to be a long-term issue.
The Browns also got a scare when their top pass-catcher Amari Cooper went down with an ankle injury during practice on Monday. Trainers attended to him but it didn’t appear to be serious as he walked off and remained on the sideline.
“I haven’t gotten the full report. I’ll update you guys tomorrow,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said of Cooper’s injury in his post-practice press conference.
The Browns did sign former LSU and USFL receiver Derrick Dillon on Monday in place of Weston, but he comes with no NFL experience.
Browns Have ‘Multiple Plans’ Depending on QB Situation
The Browns finally received some clarity on quarterback Deshaun Watson’s availability on Monday, with disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson announcing her ruling of a six-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
However, the situation is not over yet, with the league still having the option to appeal the decision. Watson and the NFLPA announced prior to the decision that they would not be appealing the move, but the NFL said in a statement they were “reviewing” the decision and “will make a determination on next steps.” Considering the league was pushing for a suspension of at least a year and a hefty fine, an appeal is well within the realm of possibility.
The Browns are trying to balance their practice reps between Watson and his backup Jacoby Brissett and acknowledged they have multiple plans, depending on how the situation develops.
“As you can imagine, we are dealing with some uncertainties and that is OK,” Stefanski said on August 1. “That is life for a football team oftentimes. We have a couple different plans, and we are going to stick to it until we have more information.”
The NFL has until 9 am ET Thursday to appeal. If things stand pat, Watson will make his debut in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens.