Washington's free agent signees have not visited Redskins Park yet since all NFL facilities are shut down to counter the COVID-19 outbreak, but Logan Thomas, Sean Davis and Kendall Fuller will have something to talk about when they finally do meet: all three are from the DMV area.
"I'm excited just to get back," Fuller told Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael on Monday.
It's a unique homecoming for the trio, as head coach Ron Rivera and vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith brought them in to help rebuild the culture of their hometown team. All three had successful high school careers and went on to achieve their childhood dreams from starting in NFL games, catching touchdown passes and even winning a Super Bowl.
Now, they've all come back home and want to bring that success with them.
"I'm so happy to be home, so happy to put on for my city," said safety Sean Davis.
For Fuller, who was one of the Redskins' first announced free agent acquisitions, this will be his second stint with the Redskins. The team drafted the Baltimore native in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He became the starting nickelback in his second year and thrived by leading the team in interceptions (4) and pass defenses (10).
The Redskins then traded Fuller and a third-round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for Alex Smith ahead of the 2018 season, and he had even more success. In two seasons with the Chiefs, Fuller had two interceptions, 14 pass defenses, a forced fumble and 131 tackles.
He also helped them win Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ers by grabbing a game-sealing pick in the fourth quarter. Fuller still had plenty of fans back home during that time, and he noticed their love for him.
"Just having so many people that support you in the area, wishing the best for you...is definitely a good feeling to have," Fuller said.
Fuller admitted he was initially surprised when he was told of the trade, but now he wants to bring the success he had with the Chiefs to Washington. He feels like he has grown "a lot" as a player, and he wants to return to Washington as a leader.
"I'm definitely looking forward to helping the young guys and at the same time, learning from vets like Landon [Collins]," Fuller said.
Fuller will join a secondary that returns only one starter (Collins) from last season. He, Collins and Davis will make up a big portion of the new group. Davis was a multifaceted player at Maret High School in Washington D.C., although he was primarily recruited as a safety when he committed to the University of Maryland.
Davis was a star at Maryland with 318 tackles and five interceptions. That helped him get drafted in the second round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016. He missed almost all of the 2019 season with a shoulder injury but recorded 247 tackles and five interceptions over his first three years.
Now healthy, Davis is happy to be back where it all started for him, especially now that Rivera is his head coach.
"I can't wait," Davis said. "I know he's a great coach. I've heard so many great things about him. He's been to a Super Bowl, so I know that's his goal. I can't wait to put on that burgundy and gold."
Davis said being on Injured Reserve last season was hard. He had been a starter for most of his life, so being forced to stay on the sidelines was a different experience for him. At the same time, Davis said it "callused my mind" and enhanced his mental toughness. Now, he's ready to put that to good use.
Davis, who said this new contract is a "prove-it" opportunity, thinks Washington is a great spot to rejuvenate his career.
"What other way to do it than in front of my family and friends in my backyard?"
Like Davis, Thomas also comes to the Redskins with something to prove, although the circumstances are a little different. After playing quarterback at Brookville High School in Virginia and at Virginia Tech, he switched to tight end and had his best statistical season (16 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown) with the Detroit Lions.
Thomas grew up a Redskins fan. They were his family's favorite team, so his childhood memories are filled with watching them play at FedExField. He's played for Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills in addition to his two stints with the Lions, but he always kept the thought of playing for the Redskins in the back of his mind.
"It would be awesome to come back home," Thomas said he would say to himself. "It's something I've dreamed about since I've been in the league, and I'm very thankful that it's come to fruition."
Thomas is still new to being an NFL tight end -- he made the switch from quarterback in 2017 -- but he has improved over the past three seasons in targets, receptions and receiving yards. He's caught two touchdowns in his career, one of which came against the Redskins in Week 12 last season.
Thomas was looking for a place to grow as a tight end, and that's exactly what he has found in the Redskins.
"I think it's a great offense," Thomas said. "Everything I've heard about [tight ends coach Pete Hoener] from my past tight ends coaches to other players around the league is that he's a great coach and a great man."
Thomas, Fuller and Davis all called the DMV area their home at some point in their lives before leaving for other destinations. Now, they get to call it home again as Redskins, and they get to help usher in a new era of football.