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Kendall Fuller Opens Up about How He Learned He Was Being Traded

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Sometimes you have to give up something endearing in order to get something you need. That was the case for the Washington Redskins, who packaged Kendall Fuller and a third-round draft pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in return for quarterback Alex Smith. The Redskins had a glaring need at QB with the future of Kirk Cousins in the air. In order to land a reliable replacement, it cost Washington arguably its best defensive back.

When news broke, it was first reported Smith was heading to the Redskins. Then the details came through bit by bit. A player and a draft pick, a player and a third-round draft pick, and then, Kendall Fuller.

When Adam Schefter of ESPN was able to match the name with the player, Twitter went into a frenzy. Fuller, himself, joined in the frenzy when he refuted the report he was involved.

Only for the former Virginia Tech standout to find out later, he was indeed part of the trade.

Fuller opened up about the infamous night he was traded.

“The funny part about it is I’m not usually on Twitter that much,” Fuller told Schefter on his podcast. When I was on there, I saw you come out with it, and somebody else come out with it, and I tweeted like, ‘Nah, I haven’t heard anything.’ Right after I tweeted that, my agent called me and told me about the trade. I was like, ‘Shoot, let me get off of Twitter for a little bit then.'”

Fuller ended the 2017 season the second-highest rated slot cornerback in the NFL via Pro Football Focus. Bleacher Report ranked him the best slot defender in the NFL, even going to the extent of calling him the “future face” of the slot corner position. So, it was understandable that Redskins players and fans went in an uproar when he was named in the trade. Fuller explained that he understood why he was traded after speaking with the team’s coaches and front office.

“Actually, the day after the trade, I was still kind of in town, so I had just went up to the facility, really just to grab some stuff, go see coaches, Bruce [Allen] and everybody like that, so I was able to talk to both teams,” Fuller said. It wasn’t too bad, because it wasn’t like the Redskins were looking to get rid of me. … I think the Chiefs were kind of bringing it to ’em, like, ‘If you want this guy, you’re going to have to give up Kendall Fuller.’ All of them were upset that I had to go, so it wasn’t like they were trying to kick me out the door. It was a little bit emotional, especially having my college coach up there, [defensive backs] coach Torrian Gray. So just seeing all of them, the head coach, Bruce and Doug [Williams], it wasn’t too bad though.”

Fuller’s absence creates a new hole in the Redskins’ roster. The Redskins were already expected to let cornerback Bashaud Breeland test free agency. Washington does have Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar to man the outside corner positions. However, the slot corner may be a difficult hole to plug. The team drafted Fabian Moreau (third round) and Joshua Hosley (seventh round) in 2017, but there are questions that remain if either can play inside.

As for Fuller, he gets a restart as he tries to build on his breakout season in 2017. Kansas City has already released Darrelle Revis with expectations that Fuller will start opposite of Marcus Peters. One is sure that there will be plenty of times Fuller is locked in the slot on a wide receiver for the Chiefs.

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