Could Will Fuller be a free agent target for the Lions?
As the Detroit Lions consider the free agent market at wide receiver, could Will Fuller be a possible target?
The Detroit Lions’ offense showed some life in the second half of the 2021 season, but there are still plenty of holes to be filled. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was a find, but the position is a clear need area this offseason.
General manager Brad Holmes will surely set some sights on the free agent market to bolster the receiver unit. Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond are internal free agents who could be re-signed, but finding a fit among outside options is also on the radar. One such possible fit is Will Fuller.
Fuller is coming off of a less than ideal 2021 campaign with the Miami Dolphins. He only appeared in two games, with a total of four receptions for 26 yards. After a slow start, Fuller suffered a major finger injury that eventually cost him the rest of the season.
Normally a finger injury wouldn’t sideline someone for that long. But as passed along by Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network recently, Fuller’s finger was “shattered” and he’s still dealing with it.
Would Will Fuller make sense as a free agent target for the Lions?
Prior to signing with the Dolphins, Fuller spent five seasons with the Houston Texans. Injuries consistently set him back, but his potential was always clear (14.9 yards per catch with the Texans).
Lions wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El recently passed along a template for an “X” receiver the team needs. Randle El essentially oultined a receiver who can threaten downfield and win 1-on-1 matchups.
With the much-desired ability to stretch the field, a speedster like Fuller can benefit the entire offense.
As noted by Wolfe in his prior work at ESPN last offseason, Fuller ran a 4.32 40-yard dash (ninth-fastest official time among active players) at the 2016 NFL Combine. According to Next Gen Stats he posted the fourth fastest max speed among wide receivers in 2020 (21.56 MPH), as one of 13 players with a max speed of more than 21.5 MPH.
If Fuller can return to his former, pre-injury form, he could be a significant boost to the Lions’ offense. He’s also lined up to get another one-year deal, for less than he got from the Dolphins (over $10 million). So the price should be right if the Lions want to go that direction.