Washington Football

What goes around: Kendall Fuller was in Redskins' plans even after being traded

Washington Football

Cornerback Kendall Fuller was as shocked as anyone when he first found out that he was getting traded from Washington to Kansas City in January of 2018. In fact, he didn't even believe it at first.

Within three minutes, Fuller fired off two tweets, believing that he was not the player being sent to the Chiefs in exchange for quarterback Alex Smith.

Less than two hours later, the reports were confirmed: Fuller was heading to Kansas City. 

While the Redskins were forced to part ways with a rising star in Fuller to land Smith, the truth is, Fuller never left Washington's plans. The cornerback, who signed a four-year deal to return to Washington in March, told a story during Monday's Redskins Offseason Updates Live show about someone in the front office told him on the night he was traded that Washington would be chasing after him when he became a free agent in 2020.

"The day I left, one of the guys in the front office said to me, 'When you hit free agency, we're bringing you back,'" Fuller said. 

Fuller, who was still processing the entire situation, had no reason to believe the front office member.

"At the time, I'm sitting there like, 'Man, y'all just traded me. I ain't tryna hear none of that,'" Fuller said. "It's crazy to think about that now, because the day I left the facility, they said we're bringing you back in free agency."

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When Fuller left Washington, he was turning into a rising star. The cornerback had just finished his second season in the NFL and had totaled a career-high five interceptions. The versatile defensive back had established himself as one of the premier slot cornerbacks in the NFL and figured to be an important part of the Redskins defense moving forward.

Although he was surprised to be traded, Fuller enjoyed plenty of success during his two seasons with the Chiefs. He played both in the slot and on the outside and even a little safety. Fuller was a solid contributor on the Chiefs teams that hoisted the Lombardi Trophy this past February and came just a few plays away from the Super Bowl the year before.

Fuller returns to Washington two years older and a better player. While he's entering his fifth season, he's just 25 years old, only beginning to enter the prime of his career. The cornerback believes he's grown a lot during his time in Kansas City and is now ready to be a leader for his original team.

"I think I've grown a lot," Fuller said on Redskins Nation in March. "Even just from a standpoint mentally. Getting more reps, getting more experience, getting to play in big games in the playoffs and the Super Bowl." 

RELATED: FULLER HOPES TO GET MORE RESPECT NOW THAT HE'S BACK WITH REDSKINS

Now back playing for his hometown team, Fuller has the chance to build on a legacy in Washington he was just beginning a few years ago. And while at the time he was traded he didn't expect to be back with the Redskins two years later, the cornerback is happy to be home once again.

"Every time I get in town and go see my parents, go see my mother, it almost surprises me like, damn, I'm really back with the Redskins, playing at home," Fuller said.

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