The Miami Dolphins have traded defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the deal, the Dolphins will be receiving a first-round pick. The deal was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.
TRADE: Steelers are trading a 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins for DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2019
Minkah Fitzpatrick Traded
As a rookie, Fitzpatrick played the most at the slot corner, but he also played out wide at corner. However, this season, the team asked him to move to safety, which has led to him playing at the backend and in the box much more. Fitzpatrick wasn’t happy about that. The position change, combined with the way this Dolphins season is clearly headed, led to him requesting a trade.
As a rookie, Fitzpatrick had a much better season out of the slot than he has shown at safety thus far. His run defense is good, which is something that you would look for in a safety, however, Miami wasn’t taking advantage enough of his ability in coverage.
He was better in coverage out of the slot and was just an all-around better player when he was out of the slot.
What This Means For Pittsburgh
This is big. The defense has been terrible so far this season, and outside of Steven Nelson, they have had nobody reliable in coverage. Not only will that improve by adding Fitzpatrick, but they are getting a Swiss army knife.
Upon his arrival in Pittsburgh, he will likely move back to the slot. That doesn’t mean the team won’t be able to take advantage of his skill set. While improving the coverage in Pittsburgh, this will also improve the run defense on the outside.
Giving up a first-round pick isn’t ideal. Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the season in Sunday’s loss against Seattle, leaving people to think they will be picking near the top of the first round. Regardless of where they finish, that will not be the case.
What This Means For Miami
Miami will continue to be bad and has now gotten worse. However, they were already likely going to be the worst team in the league with or without Fitzpatrick.
It hurts trading a player you just drafted in the first round. That’s not an ideal situation. However, he was a disgruntled player and he clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye with the way the coaching staff was wanting to use him.
Miami now has the first-round picks from Pittsburgh and Houston, plus their own pick.
The rebuild is in full effect and it will now be on the Miami front office to take advantage.