The Miami Dolphins answered a big question mark for team-need on the official first day of the league year by signing wide receiver Will Fuller while also adding multiple depth signings on the back end of the free agency period.
Miami and Fuller agreed to a one-year, $10 million dollar deal to bring the deep threat into Hard Rock Stadium.
Fuller On Target for Career Year Before Suspension
Fuller is a former first-round pick that has more than 650 receiving yards (including an 800-plus yard season) in each of the last two seasons despite missing time due to injury. He also has 11 touchdowns in those 22 total games played in that span.
In one of those seasons, he played second-fiddle to WR DeAndre Hopkins but shined as the Houston Texans’ No. 1 receiver last season. In 11 games Fuller had a whopping 74.2-percent success rate against team’s defensive press (Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception) and averaged a career-high 16.6 yards per catch.
His 879 receiving yards was a career-high by more than 200 yards (670 in 2019) and he was on pace for a 1,000-yard and double-digit TD season before he was suspended for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Fuller is currently serving his six-game suspension and is eligible to suit up for Miami in week two of the 2021-22 season.
Other Big WR Names Still on Market When Miami Took Fuller, But Dolphins Likely Looking for “Prove It” Campaign, Cap Help
The Dolphins had a few names left on the WR market it could have gone with but agreed with Fuller on a realistic deal that fit their salary cap space and also works into a “prove it” campaign for the former Houston receiver.
Most notably, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was still on the market at the time of Fuller’s signing and was viewed as the top FA. He too signed a one-year deal, to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and both are more likely than not gambling on themselves to earn long-term contracts after the NFL’s salary cap again rises after it plummeted this offseason.
Fuller: Likely No. 2 Even When Preston Williams Returns
While Fuller has an injury history, most notably with his hamstring, he will aid current No. 1 receiver DeVante Parker and help give breathing room to a Miami WR room that is working on recovering from injuries in the 2020-21 season. Fuller should work in tandem with Parker and both should realistically fluctuate between the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers, if remain healthy, during the next league year even once WR Preston Williams is cleared for action.
Miami Inks WR Robert Foster to Busy WR Room
Elsewhere in the WR room, Miami added former Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Teamer Robert Foster. Foster also spent time on Miami’s practice squad but didn’t see the field for the Dolphins.
The 26-year-old is on a one-year contract but details of the deal have not yet been released and or finalized. Foster will be in competition for the backend of the receiving room that currently holds 10 players and could grow during the 2021 NFL Draft.
Dolphins Make Questionable Signing in Center Matt Skura After Not Landing David Andrews
Also on offense, the Dolphins signed a center after Ted Karras reached an agreement with the New England Patriots, his former team.
While it was reported by multiple outlets that it looked as though the two AFC East division foes were going to swap centers, Miami did not go with center David Andrews.
Instead, it turned to former Baltimore Ravens’ center Matt Skura.
Miami gave the 28-year-old a one-year deal worth up to $1.75 million dollars with $400,000 guaranteed and a signing bonus of $200,000.
Skura ranked 34th out of 36 qualifying centers with a 49.1 overall grade during the 2020-21 season. His best season (2019) only saw him climb as high as a 68.7 overall grade (Ryan Smith & PFF). Baltimore also ended up benching him toward the end of the season when he could not get on the same page snapping-wise with quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The Dolphins’ cap space and money needed to sign this season’s rookie class likely contributed to Miami not spending on a top FA center. It could still address the position in the upcoming draft.
Miami Adds Justin Coleman for Special Teams, Cornerback Help
Miami also made multiple defensive signings.
It took former Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman off the board in the early morning of the first day of the official league year also on a one-year contract. Despite having both standout CBs Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, Coleman is joining the team for depth at the position and to be a special teams leader. His deal is worth up to $2.75 million dollars.
Dolphins Give Multi-Year Contract to DT Adam Butler
To break apart from the majority of one-year deals, Miami came to terms with former Patriot defensive tackle Adam Butler on a two-year contract.
Butler signed the multi-year deal worth up to $7.5 million dollars with an opt-out after the first year. However, more of his money and incentives come in his second year.
He is guaranteed $2.25 million dollars plus his signing bonus of $750,000 in 2021 but would make $3.4 million, his signing bonus and an additional $340,000 per game active in 2022 if he’s in a Dolphins uniform.
Regardless, Butler will see time at nose tackle, where Miami just lost Davon Godchaux to Butler’s former team in FA.
Moves After First Day of Official Free Agency
On Friday Miami also inked a deal to former Houston Texan linebacker Brennan Scarlett for one year. His deal is worth just more than $1 million dollars.
Scarlett has played all five years of his career in Houston and has rotated for starting time.
During the 2020-21 season, he played in 11 games (four starts) and had 28 combined tackles (18 solo) with one QB hit.
On Monday the Dolphins added another LB, former Philadelphia Eagle Duke Riley, who will also see a lot of his playing time on special teams. His one-year deal is also worth just a little more than $1 million dollars.
Riley appeared in 13 games last season (eight starts) in his second season with the team (formerly with the Atlanta Falcons for three) and had 55 combined tackles (30 solo).
He also secured his first career interception, had a QB hit, registered 0.5 a sack, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and one pass defended.
Finally, on Tuesday Miami announced it was bringing back WR Mack Hollins on a one-year contract.
As the news dropped just hours ago, the terms of his deal have not yet been released. FPC Dolphins will update this article when details are available.