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Revisiting the Minkah Fitzpatrick Trade

One of the worst trades ever? Who did better in the trade probably won’t surprise you but the depths of how bad it was might.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
Minkah Fitzpatrick is a $73.6 Million Man.
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Minkah Fitzpatrick and the Steelers have come to a massive deal to pay the former Alabama safety $18.4 million per year over four years. The new contract comes with $36 million guaranteed.

This move proves that Pittsburgh has no regrets trading for the two-time All-Pro. But what did it take to get Fitzpatrick to Steel Town?

On September 16, 2019, the Miami Dolphins traded him to the Steelers, along with a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 seventh-round pick, in exchange for a first- and fifth-round pick in 2020 and 2021 sixth-round pick.

Steelers got Dolphins got
Minkah Fitzpatrick 2020 1st round
2020 4th round 2020 5th round
2021 7th round 2021 6th round

It would take a few years for it all to be sorted out. In the most basic terms, the Steelers received two starters and a vital role player in exchange for giving up an OL who may not be a starter this season, what would become a free agent bust, the second to last draft pick, and a chance at a washed up meh running back who is M.I.A.

The Dolphins end up with a TBD starter or second-teamer on the OL and a practice sqaud running back. The price they paid was a two-time First-Team All-Pro, two starting OL, a valuable nickelback, and a reserve WR.

Stick with me here. It gets a little confusing.

The Steelers got the following:

  • Minkah Fitzpatrick.
  • 2020 4th-rounder turned into OG Kevin Dotson who started the first nine games of 2021 before suffering an ankle injury that ended his season. He is expected to start in 2022.
  • The 2021 7th-round pick became CB Tre Norwood who played in every game as a nickelback this past season. He had three starts, 1 INT, and 38 tackles. He is expected to be a valuable contributor going forward.

The Dolphins got the following:

  • With Pittsburgh’s 1st round pick of 2020, Miami chose OT Austin Jackson. He started 28 of 30 games at left tackle over two seasons on a much-maligned and one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Since the end of the season, the Dolphins traded for three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead and agreed to a five-year deal worth up to $87.5 million. They also signed Cowboys four-year starting OG Connor Williams to a two-year contract. A starting job for Jackson is in deep jeopardy.
  • The 2020 5th-rounder was DE Jason Strowbridge who waived after one season, DNP in 2021, and is currently a free agent.
  • Miami traded the 2021 6th-round pick the pick to Kansas City in exchange for a 2021 seventh-round pick (258th overall) and running back DeAndre Washington. Washington played in three games in 2020 and gained 86 yards with no scores. He has since disappeared into thin air. That seventh-rounder (#258th) was then sent to Washington Football Team along with former #9 overall pick offensive lineman Ereck Flowers for a seventh-round selection (244th overall). That pick turned into RB Gerrid Doaks who was cut by the Dolphins four months after drafting him. He would be re-signed to the practice squad the next day. Flowers started all 16 games for WFT at guard last season. #258 turned into WR Dax Milne who played in 13 games with one start in the nation’s capital. He caught 9 passes for 83 yards. He is still on Washington’s 53-man roster.

Whether it was Dolphins owner Stephen Ross or general manager Chris Grier who agreed to this disastrous swap, it will go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history. It was for sure one of the worst completed in-season when there was still things to play for.

On the bright side for Miami, it made them realize how bad head coach Brian Flores was for the team. It also led to some terrible seasons that earned them the chance to select Tua Tagovailoa (fifth overall pick, 2020) and Jaylen Waddle (sixth overall pick, 2021).