The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly traded their 2020 1st round NFL Draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
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
Fitzpatrick was the 11th overall pick of the 2018 draft by the Miami Dolphins. In 16 games last season, Fitzpatrick had two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He also added nine passes defensed and 80 tackles. In two games in 2019, Fitzpatrick has 11 tackles with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
In his three seasons at the University of Alabama, Fitzpatrick had nine interceptions, four of which he returned for touchdowns. He also added two force fumbles, five sacks, and 171 tackles. Fitzpatrick played in the national championship game every year with the Crimson Tide, winning the title in 2015 and 2017.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Steelers, who were reportedly in the mix all along for Fitzpatrick, weren’t in the early push for the former Alabama product. However, with the obvious need for back end help at safety, the Steelers decided to go all-in and bring in the talented, and versatile defensive back.
It’s my understanding that Steelers weren’t in on early Fitzpatrick wave, but Sunday’s performance must have pressed the need for back-end help. Team sends a message it’s all in despite loss of Big Ben. Also reminds what it thinks of Mason Rudolph.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 17, 2019
After the Dolphins Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Fitzpatrick was granted permission for his agent to seek a trade. Reportedly, Fitzpatrick was unhappy with the teams direction and how he was being utilized in the Dolphins’ secondary.
Fitzpatrick will likely be called onto duty to play multiple positions for the Steelers. The team could use depth at safety, especially with Sean Davis nursing a shoulder injury. Fitzpatrick would be an immediate upgrade over Kam Kelly who has played more than anyone would have wanted early this season. On top of safety, Fitzpatrick is more than capable of playing in the slot and defending tight ends and wide receivers from that position.
There will be those who lament the loss of the first round pick, but outside of T.J. Watt, and maybe Devin Bush, the Steelers have hit more pop-ups than home runs in the Mike Tomlin era. The exact terms of the trade as reported by Gerry Dulac are as follows:
TRADE DETAILS: Steelers trade No. 1 choice in 2020, fifth-round pick in 2020 and 6th-round pick in 2021 to the Dolphins for S Minkah Fitzpatrick. In return, they also get a fourth-round choice in 2020 and a seventh-round pick in 2021.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) September 17, 2019
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