The Miami Dolphins have granted permission for Minkah Fitzpatrick to seek a trade elsewhere. The 22-year-old defensive back is a rising star in the NFL, a player who could help the Eagles immediately.
Fitzpatrick, who was drafted 11th overall out of Alabama in 2018, will have a crazy line of potential suitors stretching down Ocean Avenue. He played in all 16 games last season, including 11 starts, and racked up 80 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defensed.
Numbers aside, Fitzpatrick is a complete player. He has lined up at slot corner, wide corner, free safety and strong safety — and excelled at all of them. He even played some linebacker this summer at Dolphins’ training camp.
“Everything you, you have to earn,” said Fitzpatrick, via Miami Herald. “I might work with the ones one day, I might work with the twos one day. We’ve got two, three great safeties and we’re all competing for playing time. The coaches know what to do.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Fitzpatrick was on the field for 944 snaps last year, second-most on the team behind Kiko Alonso. He was the Dolphins’ slot cornerback 40 percent of the time, the boundary corner 30 percent, free safety 17 percent and strong safety 3 percent.
Minkah Fitzpatrick Tweeted About the Eagles
Eagles fans uncovered an old tweet from 2014 in which Minkah Fitzpatrick shouted out the Eagles. The exact context of the particular post is unclear, but the Philly faithful immediately jumped on it as evidence he wanted to join the team.
Some of the best posts included: Eagles GM Howie Roseman riding on a horse to get Fitzpatrick, videos of the famed “Philly Special” and images of Forrest Gump running. It’s all speculation, but Fitzpatrick would fill a huge need in Philadelphia.
Next question: what would you have to give up to get Fitzpatrick? Maybe not that much. The Eagles could start by offering a package of Nelson Agholor or Jordan Howard and a mid-round pick. If that didn’t intrigue Miami, go for broke with a second-round pick. Fitzpatrick is that good.
Does He Fit the Eagles’ Defensive Scheme?
Yes, yes, unequivocally yes. The Eagles have huge question marks in their secondary with Jalen Mills and Cre’Von LeBlanc both out for a few more weeks. If Week 1 was any indication, the guys currently patrolling the defensive backfield need support. They surrendered 380 receiving yards to Washington, plus three touchdowns.
Enter Minkah Fitzpatrick. He is a plug-and-play starter at multiple positions, like safety and cornerback. The Eagles would probably list him as their third safety — eliminating the need for Andrew Sendejo — and could groom him to take over for aging veteran Malcolm Jenkins. Remember, the Eagles still haven’t given the starter the reworked contract he desires. The team also has decisions to make at the cornerback spot as Avonte Maddox is the only corner locked up through 2021.
Perhaps the best part about Fitzpatrick is his cheap contract. He signed a four-year deal worth $16.4 million last year with the Dolphins. According to OverTheCap.com’s Jason Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick has already received about 64 percent of his rookie contract.
He Grew Up Cheering for the Eagles
This may be the most interesting twist of all. Turns out, Minkah Fitzpatrick grew up cheering for the Eagles while growing up in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Technically, the town is in New York Giants country. But Fitzpatrick admitted in a 2018 interview that he rooted for the Eagles and Donovan McNabb and even patterned his game after safety Malcolm Jenkins.
“I always rooted for the Eagles,” he told David Weinberg. “I loved watching Donovan McNabb, and I try to pattern my game now after Malcolm Jenkins. I was really excited they won the Super Bowl.”
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