Originally Posted by BullMcGiveny
My theory is this;
Fury gets away with his actions in The Avengers, but he had earned the displeasure of the WSC. At that start of the movie, SHIELD fails at preventing a terrorist attack or the like (possibly the events of Iron Man 3), so they use that as cause to retire Fury. Pierce replaces him.
Cap had left SHIELD after the Avengers out of outrage at the phase 2 weapons. Redford recruits Cap back, promising him he'll run a different kind of ship.
Cap ends up finding out Pierce is far worse than Fury.
I think the terrorist attack may be an assassination by Winter Soldier. Maybe Fury or another SHIELD/WSC member that is hit and Redford is brought in to solve the case. Could also be that Fury is wounded and presumed dead, but is secretly off-the-grid and communicating with CA and BW in helping them catch WS and stop whatever villainous activity is going on.