Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick had a really impressive rookie season for the Miami Dolphins. However, the Dolphins made wholesale changes to their coaching staff over the offseason, and Fitzpatrick fell out of favor with the new staff.
Than Fitzpatrick made it publicly known that he wanted out.
To his credit, he did suit up and play for the Dolphins this past week against the New England Patriots. But Monday night, Miami granted Fitzpatrick his wish by trading him to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh paid a pretty steep price, though, as it took a first-round pick to get the 22-year-old defensive back. Miami used the 11th overall pick on Fitzpatrick in 2018.
The Steelers must really like Fitzpatrick, obviously, but it is a bit of a curious move given that their season is riddled with question marks now that Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season and Mason Rudolph is their starter.
Dolphins now have three first-round picks in 2020: theirs, the Texans’ and now the Steelers’ in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2019
For Miami, if Pittsburgh’s season goes in the tank, they could be looking at potentially getting two early first-round picks, assuming their own pick lands somewhere in the top five or ten, which looks very likely given their early-season performance.
Fitzpatrick was in the conversation last season for Defensive Rookie of the Year, but the award ultimately went to Colts linebacker Darius Leonard.
Last season, Fitzpatrick had two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), along with 51 solo tackles and 29 tackle assists. He plays a hybrid cornerback/safety position, which was seen as his best quality last season. But apparently the new staff doesn’t feel the same way.