The Miami Dolphins are a sinking ship and any player with talent is trying to jump overboard as soon as they can. The latest player trying to get out of Miami is last year’s first-round pick, Minkah Fitzpatrick. The versatile defensive back out of Alabama is reportedly wanting to get traded. While the Dolphins have granted him permission to seek a trade, it might not be so easy for him to find a suitor.
Fitzpatrick was a top pick just a year ago and he didn’t do anything in 2018 to make people think that he wasn’t worth that pick. However, there’s almost no reason the Dolphins would trade him unless they got a lot in return. According to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN, the asking price could be very high. Even though the season barely started, there may be a team out there that’s willing to give the Dolphins an offer they can’t refuse. The Oakland Raiders could be an intriguing option as they just lost one of their starting safeties and have two first-round picks in the 2020 draft. As exciting as it would be to add a player as talented as Fitzpatrick, the Raiders should avoid trading too much for the defensive back.
LaMarcus Joyner Is Pretty Much an Older Minkah Fitzpatrick
The idea of adding a player of Fitzpatrick’s caliber to the roster right after Johnathan Abram got injured is very exciting. He’d be a difference-maker from day one. The problem is, the Raiders have a player that is very similar to Fitzpatrick and that’s LaMarcus Joyner. Now, it needs to be noted that this is not a referendum on Fitzpatrick’s potential. It’s a matter of need and the Raiders don’t need him.
What does Fitzpatrick do? He can play a slot corner and also lineup at free safety. What does Joyner do? The exact same thing. Obviously, Joyner can’t play both positions at once, but Abram isn’t going to be gone forever. Karl Joseph is in a contract year, but are we ready for Oakland to just give up on the former first-round pick? According to PFF, Joseph was the team’s best defender in 2018. General manager Mike Mayock gave Joyner a fat contract this offseason and while Fitzpatrick has more upside, it’s not like he is a bad player.
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Who Knows How Much the Dolphins Are Asking For?
The main problem here is that Oakland may have to give up a lot of assets for a player they won’t really need in 2020. If Joseph plays well, they’ll want to bring him back. Joyner is locked up for several years and so is Abram. The Raiders could give up on Joseph in favor of Fitzpatrick, and some may be in favor of that. However, the Dolphins could ask for a lot in return. Fitzpatrick has absolutely no leverage here. He’s under contract until at least 2021 and Miami won’t care if he holds out because they seemingly don’t care about wins right now. There’s absolutely no reason for them to rush a deal.
Now, if the Dolphins are willing to take the Chicago Bears’ first-round pick that Oakland got for the Khalil Mack trade, that’s a deal they should consider making. It’ll probably be a low-end first-round pick and Fitzpatrick is versatile enough for the Raiders to find a way to make him work in their lineup. However, the Dolphins could want more. They got two first-round picks and a second-rounder from the Houston Texans for Laremy Tunsil. There’s probably no way they’re going to get that much for Fitzpatrick. That being said, they could at least want a first and a second. That’s not a deal the Raiders should make and is made more difficult by the fact that they don’t have a second-round pick in 2020.
A Fitzpatrick addition would be really exciting, but it’s not necessary. Unless the Dolphins are crazy enough to take the Raiders’ two third-round draft picks in 2020, it just doesn’t seem likely that this trade will happen. He would be a great addition for this year, but it just really doesn’t seem like Oakland would need him beyond.