If Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was in charge of making the team's NFL Draft decisions, then Minkah Fitzpatrick would probably be playing for another team right now, and that's because Ross didn't want him.
In a story that could make things slightly awkward the next time Fitzpatrick runs into Ross, the Dolphins owner admitted to the Miami Herald this week that he didn't want the team to select the former Alabama defensive back.
According to the Boston Globe, the drama in Miami apparently started when the Dolphins went on the clock to make the 11th overall pick. For the team's front office and coaching staff, the decision was easy: They all wanted Fitzpatrick. However, Ross ended up throwing a wrench into things when he "stepped in and implored his team to trade back," according to the Globe.
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Apparently, Ross wanted to trade back so that the team could get more picks and so that he could save some money (higher picks cost more than lower picks). The crazy thing is that Ross didn't deny the part about wanting to make a trade. In an email to the Herald, the Dolphins owner said that part of the story was true.
"Correct," Ross wrote to the Herald.
However, the Dolphins owner did deny the second part of the Globe report.
"Saving money will never be an issue when it comes to winning," Ross wrote.
Ross wasn't just unhappy about the team's first round pick. According to the Herald, the Dolphins owner seemed underwhelmed about the first three rounds of the draft when he left the team's facility after Day 2.
"We'll see. Nobody knows for sure with this stuff," Ross said, when asked about the team's first few draft picks.
Of course, the good news for Fitzpatrick is that things won't be completely awkward when he gets to Miami. The Dolphins' front office, a group that includes general manager Chris Grier, seems to love him.
"He's like a Swiss Army knife.," Grier said of Fitzpatrick after selecting him. "He does a lot of things really good. You've heard everybody talk, it's his skill set. He gives your defense a chance to be flexible and do a lot of different things. It's his football intelligence, his love for football, and he's been a productive player from the minute he stepped on campus at arguably one of the best programs in college football."
The ugly part here for the Dolphins is that if the owner hates the draft, that puts a lot more pressure on the coaching staff to make sure this year's rookie class succeeds. If Fitzpatrick is a bust, Ross might start getting the itch to clean house. One person who doesn't think Fitzpatrick will be a bust is CBSSports.com senior NFL writer Pete Prisco. Prisco seems to think that Fitzpatrick will have some success in Miami andgrade.