Minkah Fitzpatrick was drafted in 2018 to help fortify a Miami Dolphins secondary that finished 16th in the league in pass defense the previous season. He played a massive role in their improvement last season. However, after just 17 games with the franchise, it appears Fitzpatrick is no longer part of Miami's long-term plans. On Thursday night, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that the Dolphins have granted Fitzpatrick's request to seek a trade.
Fitzpatrick, a defensive back, signed a four-year, $16,447,773 contract with the Dolphins after being the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft.
Fitzpatrick would be a bargain for a team in need of a versatile defender that can play both safety and cornerback. According to OverTheCap.com's Jason Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick has already received about 64 percent of his rookie contract, meaning that whoever trades for him will only owe him a little more than a third of his rookie deal.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pound defensive back starred at Alabama before being drafted by the Dolphins. Fitzpatrick, a captain on Alabama's 2017 national championship team, was a unanimous All-American that season along with being the recipient of the Bednarik and Thorpe awards.
As a rookie, Fitzpatrick appeared in each of Miami's 16 games, making 11 starts. He recorded 80 tackles while intercepting two passes and breaking up nine more. He recorded five tackles in the Dolphins' Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Speaking of that loss, after a 59-10 dismantling that saw Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson record a perfect passer rating, reports surfaced shortly following that game about Dolphins players to try to get out of Miami.
First-year head coach Brian Flores insisted earlier this month that his team is indeed trying to win games. Fitzpatrick clearly did not get the memo.
"I wouldn't disrespect the game with that," Flores said, via ESPN's Cameron Wolfe. "Again, no, we're not [tanking]. We're going to try to win every game. I think that's disrespectful to even say that," Flores said. "These guys work extremely hard. They've done that all summer. They do it all spring. They'll continue to do so. It's disheartening to hear people talk about it, to even say that. For a guy who respects the game as much as the game has done for me, when people say that, it's extremely sad."
With tank and trade rumors swirling in south Florida, Flores' team will look to put up a brave face Sunday against the New England Patriots, a 19-point favorite following their 33-3 pummeling of the Steelers on "Sunday Night Football."