The Cleveland Browns recently upgraded at wide receiver with their trade acquisition of Amari Cooper, but Will Fuller could add more juice to that position group.
It’s a broken record to say that the Cleveland Browns have had an eventful offseason already. Most notably, they recently acquired Amari Cooper via trade from the Dallas Cowboys, and followed that up by trading for, and then promptly extending Deshaun Watson, formerly of the Houston Texans.
The Watson acquisition will continue to receive its backlash going forward, given the seemingly ongoing legal situation with him, and I’m not going to go deep into that right now.
In any case, while on the subject of the offseason still to come here for Cleveland, it’s evident that the Browns still should address the defensive line, perhaps center/interior depth, whether that’s via the draft or free agency still, and I still believe wide receiver. For reference, the Browns are projected to have around $26 million in cap space yet, per Over The Cap. Of course, they have to address their affairs from here within reason still.
There have seemingly been rumors of Jarvis Landry or perhaps Odell Beckham Jr. maybe returning, but I’d rather Cleveland stay away from that, personally. And as an alternative, Watson’s former Texans teammate, Will Fuller, would be sensible.
Along those lines, Fuller and the Browns reportedly have mutual interest, per a report from Jordan Schultz of Boardroom and The Game Day NFL.
Fuller on the Cleveland Browns would make a ton of sense.
As the aforementioned Schultz pointed out, Fuller and Watson have an established rapport, from back in their time with Houston as teammates for several seasons. Fuller had 53 receptions for 879 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020 with Houston, and 49 catches for 670 yards, and three touchdowns in 2019 with the Texans, with him and Watson having a nice connection over time.
As Schultz touched on, in his tenure with the Texans with Watson at the helm, Fuller had a 69 percent catch rate, which, given plenty of his looks being intermediate and shots down the field, was notable. For further context, Fuller had 14.7 yards per reception with the Texans.
Fuller is one of the league’s most potent targets down the field, and in tandem with Cooper, Cleveland could have a big-time deep shot duo. And for what it’s worth, both of those guys could make plays inside the numbers, too, with their ability to get separation and with their quickness/threat of deep speed.
Granted, as DPD’s Jacob Roach pointed out, while Fuller would bolster Cleveland’s passing game when he’s in there, injuries are always a cause for concern with him. He was hampered last season with the Miami Dolphins due to a finger injury, and with Houston, he did not appear in a full season at all, either. He appeared in just two games last season, 11 in the two years prior with Houston, and in just seven in 2018, because of a torn ACL.
That being said, although the injury history is a red flag, it also can’t be glossed over that the Watson-Fuller connection could provide a tangible jolt for the Browns. Plus, with Cooper, the emergence of Donovan Peoples-Jones, to go with David Njoku and the Nick Chubb-Kareem Hunt backfield duo, Fuller could be an additional big-time weapon for Cleveland.
The 27-year-old, when available, is still undoubtedly one of the NFL’s speediest wideouts, and his presence out there would only open up more room for others on the field with him.
And as DPD’s John Suchan recently noted, while last year was a dud for him with Miami, reuniting with Watson could be huge for him, and honestly, he probably wouldn’t cost close to his last deal with the Dolphins, which was for $10.6 million for 2021. Because of his prior PED suspension, his bonus for last season was foregone, for reference.
Generally, Fuller could be a nice add for Cleveland.