The Miami Dolphins’ war chest of future draft picks just got richer as the team dealt 2018 first-round defender Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh.
When your team loses its first two games, both at home, by a combined score of 102-10, there’s nowhere to go but up. In the case of the ever-busy Miami Dolphins, the latest direction is apparently out. At least for yet another recent first-round draft choice.
This offseason, the franchise dealt quarterback Ryan Tannehill (2012) to the Tennessee Titans and just before the start of the 2019 campaign, traded left tackle Laremy Tunsil (2016) to the Houston Texans. Add in the fact that 2014 first-round tackle Ja’Wuan James to the Denver Broncos via free agency.
Now comes the latest move by the ‘Fins as disgruntled defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, the 11th overall selections in the draft a year ago, is now a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As first reported, the former member of the Crimson Tide netted Miami a first-round draft choice. But there was much more to the deal.
If you having trouble keeping count of all the selections the Dolphins will have just in 2020 alone (never mind the 2021 NFL Draft), you are probably not alone. This latest deal gives general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores a running total of 14 choices next April so far (as explained by For The Win’s Charles Curtis). So as of now, the franchise owns three first-round picks in 2020 via their own, the Texans and the Steelers. The Dolphins also have a pair of number twos, the club’s original selection, and the New Orleans Saints.
It bears repeating. This is an organization that has reached the playoffs just twice since realignment in 2002. The team’s last division title came in 2008 (yes, the Patriots have won the AFC East 10 straight years). This is a club that was in dire need of a culture change. For too many offseasons, the ‘Fins have relied on the quick fix. Combine some free-agent misses along with poor drafting and that’s no way to build a football team.
Call it what you will. From a thorough housecleaning to dreaded tanking. Flores and Grier continue their wheeling and dealing and this latest move may not be the last before next spring. Meanwhile, will the Dolphins win a game in 2019? That would be some story for the only franchise in NFL history (1972) to achieve perfection.