Former Miami Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick has been traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In exchange, the Miami Dolphins received Pittsburgh’s 2020 first-round pick. Fitzpatrick expressed displeasure with his role in Miami and requested a trade following Week 1’s blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
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
Miami Dolphins Trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers needed a player like Fitzpatrick, but the trade comes on the same day Ben Roethlisberger announced he’s going to miss the rest of the season. Roethlisberger suffered an elbow injury in Week 2, leaving Mason Rudolph running the ship for the remainder of the season. The team clearly believes in Rudolph’s ability, as the Steelers now have minimal draft capital heading into 2020.
The good news for Pittsburgh is that this isn’t a short-term move. Fitzpatrick is still under team control for the next three seasons, and the Steelers could exercise an optional fifth-year on his existing contract. Additionally, the Dolphins are still on the hook for his signing bonus, meaning the Steelers will only pay just over 40% of his remaining contract.
Fitzpatrick initially entered the league as the 11th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Selected by the Miami Dolphins, Fitzpatrick spent the majority of his rookie season moving around the defensive formation. While he was at his best in the slot, Fitzpatrick has demonstrated the ability to line up as an outside cornerback and at both safety positions.
Minkah Fitzpatrick joins a secondary which allowed 33 points in Week 1 to the New England Patriots and 28 points to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. Outside of Joe Haden, Pittsburgh doesn’t have much in terms of defensive reinforcements in the back end. Fitzpatrick expressed a desire to play slot cornerback or free safety, and he should immediately take over starting duties once he gets a grasp of the playbook.