Bonnie and Clyde
What we have here is a list of the most famous thieves in American history.
After signing a one year contract with the Dolphins worth $10.625 million fully guaranteed, Will Fuller was expected to open up Miami’s offense, allowing players like Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker to feast on short to intermediate routes underneath, while giving Tua Tagovailoa a proven and reliable deep threat target on any given play.
Instead, due to injury, personal reasons, and more injury, Will Fuller barely stepped onto the field – practice or gameday – with his teammates. His final stat-line with the Miami Dolphins:
He played in two games.
If my math is correct, which many readers who left comments on my last column will tell you is not always the case, that means Will Fuller got paid roughly $2.66 million per catch in a Miami uniform... or roughly $408,653.85 per receiving yard. Where do I apply for that job?
It is fair to speculate if Fuller’s shutdown at this point in the season was due to more than just his broken finger, though Head Coach Brian Flores stated that the 27 year old wideout had recently suffered multiple setbacks during rehab.
It was on September 17th, just five days after Fuller served the final game of his suspension for PED use during his time in Houston, that Flores announced the free agent acquisition would not be making his Dolphins’ debut against the Buffalo Bills – a pivotal division matchup – that weekend due to a “personal issue” that was never fully defined by staff or player.
“I’ve had multiple conversations with him over the last couple of days. He’s definitely dealing with a personal issue,” Flores said. “We support Will and we’ll take it one day at a time.”
Fuller would go on to return for the September 26th contest against the Las Vegas Raiders, reeling in three receptions for just 20 yards. The next week would be Fuller’s final game in a Dolphins’ uniform in 2021, catching one pass for 6 yards against the Indianapolis Colts before leaving the game with a broken finger.
What could have been if a fully healthy and fully motivated Will Fuller had suited up in games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons – games that were both lost by last second field goals? Would the Dolphins be sitting at 8-6 or 9-5 instead of 7-7? Would Miami be in the driver’s seat for the playoffs instead of standing on the side of the road with their thumbs in the air trying to hitch a ride into the postseason?
We will never know. All we can do is sit here and wonder – an exercise we engage in regularly as Dolphins’ fans because we care. We live and breathe Miami Dolphins football. Unfortunately, the Dolphins’ big ticket free agent acquisition didn’t feel the same way, as he took his $10 million plus and threw up the peace sign, never looking back, on his way out of the training facility.
I’d say it’s highly unlikely that Will Fuller signs back with the Dolphins in free agency this offseason. He’ll move on to another team, lining his pockets with millions of dollars more. Will he earn that payday with his next team? Only time will tell, but the fact will always remain that Will Fuller’s 2021 season in South Florida was one of the biggest heists in Miami Dolphins’ franchise history.