There is no shortage of family dynasties in the NFL. Look at Eli and Peyton Manning, Tiki and Ronde Barber, or Jim and John Harbaugh. One of the lesser-known but more prolific of those families is the Fuller brothers. There is a virtual army of them, all of which have played pro football.
The four Fuller brothers
There are four Fuller brothers to be exact: Vincent, Corey, Kyle, and Kendall. Vincent retired in 2011 after seven seasons at safety with the Tennessee Titans. Corey was a receiver for the Detroit Lions until injuries ended his career prematurely in 2017.
Kyle entered the league in 2014 as a corner, but a troublesome knee injury temporarily derailed his progress. He now plays cornerback for the Denver Broncos, where he’s proven that he’s still got the juice to disrupt major plays despite his injuries, featuring 82 tackles and three interceptions this past season.
Then there’s Kendall, the youngest of the four brothers. Kendall was drafted in 2016 by the Washington Redskins. After two seasons, and a handful of decent defensive production at cornerback with 55 tackles and four interceptions in 2017, Kendall was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 in exchange for Alex Smith.
Since entering the league, Kendall Fuller has proven himself to be one of the best young cornerbacks in the NFL. All you have to do is look at his uncanny ability to limit a quarterback’s passer rating, holding it to an average of 55, the lowest of any corner in 2017. Kendall’s emerging defensive skills paid out in a big way during the Chiefs/ 49ers Super Bowl this year. Fuller made a key interception off of Jimmy Garoppolo late in the fourth quarter to help seal Kansas City’s win.
Kendall Fuller vs. Kyle Fuller
Of the four brothers, Kendall and Kyle are closest in age. Older brother Vincent is 37 and already retired, and while he served as a trailblazer for the family, it’s the two youngest brothers who most resemble each other in terms of play style.
Both of the younger Fullers have followed a similar career arch so far. Like their older brothers before them, they both had productive careers at Virginia Tech, and both play the slot position with intensity and an instinct for breaking up the pass. Kendall’s overall stats in terms of tackles and interceptions look to follow Kyle’s trajectory.
The only difference is Kyle’s slightly longer NFL tenure. Kyle has a career 18 interceptions and 35 combined tackles whereas his younger brother has 6 interceptions and 228 combined tackles. Of course, Kyle has an extra two years in the league, so Kendall isn’t far behind.
When you are the youngest brother in such a prodigious sports family, you’re bound to pick up a thing or two from your older brothers. Corey, Kyle, and Kendall all had Vincent’s blueprint to follow. Vincent gave all the brothers life lessons, both on and off the field.
The eldest Fuller brother was a guiding force for both success and determination, and an example of how to do your job well. By the time genetics and the wisdom of experience trickled down to the two youngest brothers, it formed a similar mold from which their shared play styles emerged.
A second round with the Redskins
Kendall is at this point the only Fuller brother to have a Super Bowl ring. A lifetime of role models shaped him into excellence. And while you’d think that after his game-winning Super Bowl performance with the Chiefs this past year would keep him rooted in Kansas City, Kendall is on his way back to the Washington Redskins, where he got his professional start, for the upcoming season.
The youngest Fuller entered free agency this year and signed a stunning $40 million dollar, four-year deal with Washington. But after his performance in KC, he’s worth it. He returns to the DC area older, wiser, and more experienced like his brothers before him, ready to take the Redskins to new heights