The Dolphins are having a yard sale and Minkah Fitzpatrick is the shiniest toy on the card table. A lot of fans are against trading for him, but here’s a laundry list of reasons why they’re wrong.
His draft pedigree showed he was a difference maker, but we know draft picks can bust. Minkah only played one year, but in that year, he proved that he was a good, versatile defender, earning a starting role and making some big plays. He’s not a bust.
Unique Acquisition Opportunity
When you draft a player, you spend draft capital. When you sign a free agent, you spend cap room. The downside to most trade options are that you have to give up draft capital and pay a big contract. This is what makes the Fitzpatrick situation so unique: he still has most of his rookie deal remaining. This just never happens.
Crazy Low Salary
Since the Dolphins already paid out a $10M+ signing bonus, the Packers would only be on the hook for his base salaries, which average less than $2M per year. For comparison, that’s less than it takes to sign an over-the-hill journeyman backup tight end (Marcedes Lewis).
Cornerback is one of most difficult positions to fill. Any time you can get a guaranteed good one, you should (especially when the price tag is stupidly low).
He Fits The Depth Chart Now and In The Future
Sure, the Packers have a good-looking defense with a strong secondary, but let’s not be shortsighted. If Kevin King gets hurt (like he’s done very frequently in the past), the profile of this secondary drops considerably. Tramon Williams is a capable nickel, but he’s old as f*ck and in the last year of his deal. Let’s not pretend we can’t use Minkah Fitzpatrick.
He Fits the Defensive Scheme
One of the (many) reasons Minkah wants out of Miami is because he wants to play cornerback. He’s proven capable of doing that and playing safety and linebacker as well. The Packers value versatility and he has it – even if he only plays corner, his versatility in play style is valued by the team.
He Even Fits The Division
Just look at what he did to Kirk Cousins last year:
He’s a Complementary Player
He’s a different type of corner than what the Packers have today. Jaire and King are very different types of cornerbacks, which makes them a great tandem. Minkah is a completely different type and would only make the Packers secondary stronger. That’s a good thing in a passing league.
Let’s say he costs a first rounder. The Packers first rounders for the last decade have been: Darnell Savage, Rashan Gary, Jaire Alexander, Kenny Clark, HaHa, Datone, Nick Perry, Derek Sherrod, and Bryan Bulaga. Some good, some bad, probably better than average overall. You never know how these guys are going to turn out, but you already know how Fitzpatrick’s rookie year went. It’s like getting a test drive for your draft pick. You could spend your 2020 1st (which will pribably be in the 20s) on a guy with top 10 talent who proved he can play at a high level or… roll the dice on door number 2. This isn’t a hard question.
But We Have…
Yeah, I know we have Josh Jackson and Tony Brown and some other young guys. Getting Fitzpatrick doesn’t mean we need to get rid of those guys. It just means we’ll have an even better player ahead of them on the depth chart.
He’s young, cheap, and proven to be good. He plays a premier position. If the Packers have to give up a first, it will almost certainly be lower than the pick he was drafted at. The only reason you could imagine for not wanting him is that we “could” get a better player in the draft (which isn’t likely) or you think we have “enough” DBs (which isn’t really possible).
Now, if the asking price gets steeper than a first round pick, that would change things, but if not… Gutey, make it so.