Legendary NFL CB gives Miami Dolphins their flowers for Kendall Fuller move

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins agreeing to a deal with cornerback Kendall Fuller is drawing praise from one of the best to play the position in recent years, Patrick Peterson.

“Kendall is one of those guys who I watched play over the years in Washington,” Peterson said. “He’s just a savvy vet now. He knows how to find the ball. He knows how to read those routes, especially late in games. They try to run those little hitches on him, he finds a way to break those up each and every time.

“… Super Bowl champ as well, so he’s lookin’ to team up with Jalen Ramsey, which is gonna be another nice cornerback duo. Dolphins, they puttin’ it together right now.”

Fuller is leaving to Washington Commanders to join the Dolphins on a two-year contract reportedly worth $16.5 million. The 29-year-old is a former Super Bowl champion, having won the title with the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2019 NFL season.

Last season — his fourth of his second stint with Washington — he had two interceptions and 79 combined tackles while starting 15 games for the Commanders. He missed the final two games with knee soreness.

He likely will replace Xavien Howard in the Dolphins’ secondary and pair with star No. 1 cornerback Ramsey. Howard was let go by Miami earlier this offseason in part because of salary cap concerns.

A third-round pick (No. 84 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft, Fuller debuted with two seasons for Washington before being traded to Kansas City prior to the 2018 season in the deal that sent quarterback Alex Smith to Washington and opened up the Chiefs’ starting quarterback position for Patrick Mahomes.

After two seasons with the Chiefs, Fuller returned to the Commanders as a free agent and started 62 of a possible 66 games. In the 2022 NFL season, he returned two of his three interceptions for touchdowns. He has 16 total interceptions in his career.

Washington allowed the most yards in the NFL last season, yet Fuller had the seventh-best overall defensive grade among cornerbacks in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

Peterson is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro who played last season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has played more than 200 NFL regular season games.

The Dolphins defense also reportedly is adding safety Jordan Poyer and cornerback Siran Neal to the secondary, as well as defensive lineman Neville Gallimore and linebackers Jordyn Brooks, Anthony Walker and Shaquil Barrett as free agents. Miami has lost defensive starters Christian Wilkins, Raekwon Davis and Jerome Baker this offseason.

Miami was 11-6 last season and will be looking to return to the playoffs for a third straight season for the first time since making five consecutive appearances from the 1997 season through the 2001 campaign.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.