There was so much hope surrounding the Miami Dolphins’ acquisition of wide receiver Will Fuller in the offseason on a one-year, $10.6 million contract. Pairing Fuller with incumbent DeVante Parker, along with the team selecting Jaylen Waddle in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, gave Miami a starting trio of receivers that would give defenses fits. Add in tight end Mike Gesicki, and suddenly Miami’s passing game was set to be among the most explosive in the league.
A season of four receptions on eight targets for 26 yards in two played games was not exactly in the plan. Yet, that appears to be the extent of the Fuller era in Miami. After Fuller sustained a broken finger against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4, the team placed him on injured reserve. On Monday, Dolphins head coach Brian Flores said Fuller had suffered a setback in his recovery and would likely not play the rest of the season.
The Fuller experiment failed for the Dolphins this year, but it was a chance the team should have taken. While Houston Texans fans will point to the injury issues Fuller had during his five seasons there, five seasons where he never played all 16 games and averaged 10.6 games per season, Miami took a shot at making their offense one full of weapons that would overwhelm defenses. As talented as Fuller is when healthy, it was a risk worth taking. Unfortunately, a broken finger - which Flores has previously stated included multiple broken bones - ended the experiment without it ever fully taking off.
Fuller is scheduled to be a free agent this offseason, but the 2021 season did nothing to assist him in finding a big-money contract for next year. Miami could look to bring him back on a much smaller salary next year, but they, or any team, would have to have a contingency plan in case another injury situation sidelines the receiver again.