Trade Proposal Would Land Buccaneers 2-Time Pro Bowl CB

Kyle Fuller Broncos

Getty Kyle Fuller could be a trade target of the Buccaneers.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just can’t escape the injury bug in the defensive backfield.

The Buccaneers may have walked away with an easy 38-3 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 7, but they did so with more injuries to their cornerbacks. During the blowout victory, starting cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Dee Delaney were injured and did not finish the game.

Delaney sustained a shoulder injury early in the second half while Dean injured his shoulder midway through the fourth quarter.

Following the game, Delaney said he’s “good to go.” While Dean wasn’t available to reporters following the game, head coach Bruce Arians did say that the third-year cornerback will be fine.

The Buccaneers are already down their top cornerbacks with Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow), Carlton Davis (quad) and Richard Sherman (hamstring) sidelined. While Sherman should only be out for a couple of weeks, Murphy-Bunting and Davis have no timetable for a return. Both corners remain on injured reserve.

The situation in the defensive backfield leads some to believe that Tampa Bay could be buyers at the trade deadline for a cornerback. With the deadline nearing on Nov. 2, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes a former two-time Pro Bowl cornerback could be an ideal trade target for the Buccaneers.

The ideal trade target? That would be none other than 29-year-old Kyle Fuller of the Denver Broncos. Knox believes the Buccaneers can have Fuller for the price of a third-round draft pick in 2022.

“A team with a struggling defense like the Kansas City Chiefs would make sense, but there’s virtually no way Denver would send Fuller to a divisional rival,” says Knox. “Trading him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, though? That might happen.”

Knox continues to elaborate on why the Buccaneers could utilize Fuller and how they could make it work despite their current salary cap situation.

“Tampa has been dealing with injuries in the secondary—Carlton Davis III and Sean Murphy-Bunting are on injured reserve, and recent signing Richard Sherman is also sidelined. As a result, the Buccaneers rank 27th in passing yards allowed and 14th in yards per pass allowed. They’ve also allowed 14 passing touchdowns, fifth-most in the NFL.

This is a deal that would require a little financial finagling on the part of Tampa, as the Buccaneers have $2.5 million in cap space. However, players like Tom Brady and Mike Evans have shown a willingness in the past to restructure contracts for the good of the team.”

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Fuller Has Fallen Out of Favor in Denver

After signing a one-year, $9.5 million deal in the offseason with the Broncos, the veteran cornerback has found himself in the doghouse.

In fact, he didn’t even see action during the team’s Week 7 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, October 21 despite being active. The week before that, Fuller saw just two snaps on defense.

Considering the Broncos are at 3-4 with their season quickly falling in a downward spiral, Denver would probably be wise to part ways with Fuller while they can get something in return.

Even Ian Rapoport of NFL Network mentions Fuller as a big name that could be traded before the deadline.

Since Fuller is on a one-year deal and appears to no longer be a part of the team’s defensive plans, trading the veteran to a cornerback-needy team such as the Buccaneers makes too much sense.


Fuller’s Ceiling Better Than Bucs Cornerbacks

The eight-year NFL veteran led the league in interceptions in 2018 and was named a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2018 and was named to the Pro Bowl in back-to-back years (2018 and 2019).

While his coverage grade of 40.6 (according to Pro Football Focus) this year is troublesome, the former Chicago Bears cornerback posted a 70.1 coverage grade as recently as last year — which is better than all of the Buccaneers’ current defensive backs, with the exception of Davis and Dean.

In other words, the Broncos’ defensive scheme (the unit ranks 18th in yards per pass attempt allowed) may be the problem.

A change of scenery may very well benefit both Fuller and the Buccaneers.

 

 

 


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