Kendall Fuller didn’t initially believe the reports, tweeted by ESPN’s Field Yates and Adam Schefter on the night of Jan. 30, that the Redskins had traded him along with a third-round pick to the Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith. Then the 23-year-old cornerback received a phone call confirming he was Kansas City-bound.
“The funny part about it is I’m not usually on Twitter that much,” Fuller said on this week’s Adam Schefter Podcast, describing the wild night he learned he was switching teams. “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’s social media hiatus lasted about an hour. He returned to tweet a Simpsons GIF and confirmation that he had, in fact, been traded. It wasn’t until the next day that he talked to representatives from the Chiefs and Redskins.
“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.”
Gray joined the Redskins as the team’s defensive backs coach in 2017 after spending the previous 11 years at Virginia Tech, where Fuller starred for three seasons. Washington’s third-round pick in 2016, Fuller led the Redskins with four interceptions last season and, according to Pro Football Focus, had the second-highest grade (90.0) of any corner who primarily matched up against slot receivers. Now he’ll team with all-pro cornerback Marcus Peters in Kansas City.
“A lot of people reached out on Twitter just talking about the barbecue,” Fuller said when asked what he knows about his new home. “That’s probably what I heard about the most. I definitely gotta go out there and see what that’s about, but honestly I don’t know too much about it.”
Fuller, whose Twitter bio still reads #HTTR, said he’s looking forward to playing alongside Peters, and that he’ll take some of what he learned from former teammate Josh Norman over the last two years to Kansas City.
“His mind-set every day, it’s always the same,” Fuller said of Norman. “Every day he comes in, he’s just ready to hunt, no matter what he’s doing. Whether it’s Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and especially on Sunday, just that mind-set that you gotta bring to the table every day as a professional.”
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