Rumors have swirled that Miami Dolphins players are looking to leave town in the wake of Week 1’s 59-10 drubbing at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.
On Thursday, apparent confirmation surfaced that one of the team’s top young players is indeed looking for a way out.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Minkah Fitzpatrick has asked permission to seek a trade, and the the Dolphins have obliged.
The Dolphins have granted permission to DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to seek a trade, according to multiple sources who say Miami's asking price is too high. Dolphins have no comment. Story coming with help from @CameronWolfe— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 13, 2019
Report: Dolphins seek ‘significant return’
Mortensen’s partner on the story Cameron Wolfe reports that the Dolphins aren’t actively shopping Fitzpatrick and that they would seek a “significant” return if a potential trade partner expressed interest.
Dolphins have given 2018 1st round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick permission to seek a trade, but they are not actively shopping him. They want a significant return to trade him. Fitzpatrick has been unhappy with his role with defense for months. Story with @mortreport coming shortly.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) September 13, 2019
Could a deal happen?
The reports add up to a trade being a long shot.
Miami drafted Fitzpatrick, a versatile defensive back out of Alabama, with the 11th pick of the 2018 draft. So far he’s not lived up to his lofty draft status, and it sounds like the Dolphins aren’t considering parting with him without recouping the price of the draft pick they spent on him — a price a trade partner would be unlikely to pay.
But the news reinforces that things are exceptionally bad in Miami with a franchise that’s obviously tanking despite claiming otherwise.
The Dolphins have so stripped down their roster in the name of compiling draft picks and the alleged pursuit of the No. 1 draft pick that there’s talk that this may be the worst team in NFL history — after one week.
On the off chance that the Dolphins do find a trade partner, Fitzpatrick would be the second talented young player the Dolphins recently jettisoned after the team traded starting left tackle and 2016 first-round draft pick Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans.
Is tanking like this worth it?
The Dolphins got a haul in return for Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Houston Texans that included a pair of first-round draft picks.
With potential game-changing Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa expected to come of the board first in next year’s draft and the stockpile of draft assets the Dolphins have acquired, there’s a reasonable debate over the merits of their strategy. There is upside to be gained in the future.
But at what cost?
If they draft Tagovailoa and can’t protect him, then what’s the point. And what about the physical toll now on players of fielding a subpar NFL team?
Fitzpatrick has reportedly been unhappy with his role in Miami. His mom even went to Twitter to complain during the preseason that he shouldn’t be lined up at strong safety.
Fitzpatrick may be unhappy playing that position. But it can’t help that he’s doing so for a laughing stock of a team.
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