Miami, FL — The Miami Dolphins traded defensive back/safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 2020 first and fifth round pick and a 2021 sixth round pick.
Fitzpatrick wanted out
News broke nearly one week ago that Fitzpatrick was unhappy with how the team was playing him and he wanted out of South Beach. The former first round and 13th overall pick floated around the defensive back and safety positions with Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores adamantly trying a new scheme on defense. Flores has been open about putting the best 11 guys on the field and not necessarily inserting them into their known positions.
Fitzpatrick expressed his displeasure with not playing free safety consistently and wanting to be on a team that played him for his talents. Conditionally, this opened the door for Miami to grant him permission to seek trade partners, as the team has made it clear that they want players who are in it for the long haul who don’t quit when times get unfavorable.
Different mindsets set tones for team
While Miami’s defense currently ranks last in the NFL, there is clearly a divide of mindsets between the players. Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker praised the way the defense improved from week one and two, despite Miami losing 59-10 and 43-0 respectively.
Baker reminded listeners in the post game press conference that the Dolphins defense didn’t give up quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s two pick-sixes. The defense/special teams also forced New England Patriots’ kicking ace Stephen Gostkowski to miss one field goal and two extra points in Sunday’s game.
“We played together. We made some mistakes but ultimately we played together. We communicated, we played hard. That’s the little light that we had,” Baker said. “(Even though) ultimately, we didn’t get the job done, (we just) have to go back and watch film. We just have to get better.”
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Pittsburgh clearly identifying game plan
The timing for Pittsburgh’s trade sends a message about the team and how it plans to move forward this season. The Steelers just lost starting QB Ben Roethlisberger for the remainder of the season (elbow surgery) and recently traded backup QB Josh Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars after starting QB Nick Foles broke his clavicle.
Additional information on trade
Fitzpatrick played in 18 games with 13 starts for the Dolphins over the past two seasons He had 90 tackles (57 solo), two interceptions, nine passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Miami also sends a 2020 fourth round pick and 2021 seventh round pick to Pittsburgh in the deal.