The Dolphins' quest to surround Tua Tagovailoa with more talent has led to them coming to terms with veteran receiver Will Fuller on a one-year contract worth over $10 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The 27-year-old wideout missed the final five games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. That suspension will result in Fuller missing the first game of the 2021 season. Despite his suspension, Fuller set career-highs in receptions (53), yards (879) and touchdowns (eight) in 11 games last season.
Though he's still waiting for his first 1,000-yard season, the 6-foot, 184-pound Fuller was nonetheless a consistent and productive receiver during his first five NFL seasons in Houston. During that span, Fuller averaged 67 catches for 622 yards and five touchdowns per season. A deep threat, Fuller averaged nearly 15 yards per catch in Houston.
Fuller joins a Dolphins receiving unit that includes DeVante Parker, Preston Williams and Isaiah Ford. Parker led Miami with 63 receptions for 793 yards while scoring four touchdowns last season. Williams and Ford finished fifth and sixth, respectively, on the team in receiving yards. The team's No. 2 and No. 3 pass-catchers last season were tight end Mike Gesicki and running back Myles Gaskin. Gesicki caught 53 passes for 703 yards and a team-high six touchdowns. A rookie last season, Gaskin caught 41 of 47 targets for 388 yards and two scores.
The addition of Fuller will surely be beneficial for Tagovailoa, who showed signs of promise during his highly scrutinized rookie season. In nine starts last season, Tagovailoa completed 64.1% of his passes for 1,814 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions while posting a 6-3 record. He also rushed for three scores while helping lead the Dolphins to victories over the Rams, Cardinals, Chargers, Bengals, Patriots and Raiders. Tagovailoa threw a career-high 60 passes (completing 35) for 361 yards in the Dolphins' season-finale against the Bills. He also threw a season-high three interceptions in that game, as the Dolphins lost a must-win game that knocked them out of playoff contention.
"I would describe my rookie season as below average," Tagovailoa said on Schein on Sports on Mad Dog Sports Radio shortly after the season, via The Palm Beach Post. "This past season wasn't up to my expectation that I have for myself. But there were a lot of things that I was able to learn from. Being able to look at the defenses and how different all of the schemes are with the defensive coordinators. Everyone runs multiple things. Hopefully having this offseason I can compartmentalize everything and have a much better season this year."