On the heels of a devastating 59-10 loss in Week 1, word broke that multiple players on the Miami Dolphins roster were seeking trades to greener pastures. From there, the Dolphins were decimated in a shutout loss to the New England Patriots and, just one day later, one of Miami’s best young pieces is on the move, with defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick headed to Pittsburgh to join the Steelers.
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
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 17, 2019
As noted by both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the reported compensation is a 2020 first round pick from the Steelers and, in short, that is a hefty price. The 22-year-old Fitzpatrick was selected with the No. 11 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Alabama and, since arriving in Miami, he has been an effective piece in the team’s secondary. However, Pittsburgh is dealing with its own issues in the present tense, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger set to miss the remainder of the 2019 campaign.
The Steelers already 0-2 after losses to the Patriots and Seahawks, leaving the team in a less than favorable position even under the best of circumstances. When factoring in the presence of backup quarterback Mason Rudolph as the engine of the team’s offense the rest of the way, Pittsburgh is taking a significant risk in that a poor overall record could lead to the franchise sending a (very) good draft pick to Miami to complete the Fitzpatrick transaction.
From a league-wide sense, this sets the market even higher for Jaguars star CB Jalen Ramsey who requested a trade on Monday, and with Miami getting what should be a good first rounder, Jacksonville’s asking price figures to be a good bit higher than that.
On one hand, Fitzpatrick has proven to be a first-round talent and he is still quite young. That would provide cover for the Steelers, even in the event of a bottoming out that ended up with a top-10 pick. Still, this seems like an aggressive tact for a team in a relatively desperate position and, on the Miami side, this is excellent value for a player that clearly wanted to find the exit as quickly as possible.