In case you haven’t heard, the Miami Dolphins season has crash-landed and some of the players want out.
One of their most attractive assets is 2018 first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, who found himself burned multiple times by Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson in a demoralizing 59-10 rout in Week 1. According to ESPN, “at least” five teams have made advances for Fitzpatrick, but the Dolphins will not give him away for nothing, demanding a first-round draft pick in exchange.
Here are five teams who could really use the second-year safety.
1. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers’ reasoning for taking Fitzpatrick can be summed up in two words: Jimmie Ward.
Ward, a backup free safety to Eric Reid, has had four of his five NFL seasons cut short by lower-body injuries, leaving the Niners scrambling to find replacement options. With an option now falling into their laps from South Beach, expect San Francisco to take the opportunity if they can haggle the compensation down to perhaps a second or third-round pick.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs secondary may be the one thing holding them back from a Super Bowl run, and without the suspended Morris Claiborne, they let Jacksonville nearly steal one last week. While they made strides toward improvement by signing Tyrann Mathieu this offseason, it may not be enough to survive another hypothetical encounter with Tom Brady and the Patriots should they meet again. Fitzpatrick, if he plays like he did at Alabama, will fill one of the only holes left in this championship contender.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have been no strangers to making bold, in-season move in this decade, and a trade for Fitzpatrick after two weeks would not look out of the ordinary. As this article breaks down, Fitzpatrick would be a natural fit in the Eagles’ Cover 3 system, similar to the scheme Nick Saban ran at Alabama. Not to mention, as a Super Bowl contender already, the Eagles will probably not miss their first-round draft pick.
4. New Orleans Saints
Last week, the Saints’ defense managed to get to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson for six sacks and applied pressure all day, and Watson still threw for 268 yards. Needless to say, those were not coverage sacks.
Clearly, the Saints have half of a defense, which is more than can be said of them in some recent years. But as Saints fans found out in Minneapolis two seasons ago, a terrible secondary can wreck a team’s season in one play.
5. Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins’ defensive back corps could use a bit of help. With injuries to Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau, the lineup is so shorthanded that the ‘Skins have signed Simeon Thomas from the Seahawks practice squad to suit up for this week’s game against the Cowboys. Last week, the members of the secondary that did play didn’t look very impressive in a 32-27 loss to the Eagles. Any extra bodies would be helpful for Washington at this point.