OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Minkah Fitzpatrick saw a lot of the Ravens' receivers last weekend. It didn’t end well for him.
He was on the losing end of a 59-10 blowout in the Dolphins season opener as Lamar Jackson went wild and finished with 324 yards passing with five touchdowns.
Fitzpatrick was beaten multiple times for touchdowns in the secondary and, like seemingly everyone on the Dolphins defense, looked completely lost.
That shouldn’t dissuade the Ravens in attempting to acquire him.
Fitzpatrick, the No. 11 overall pick in 2018, has been given permission to seek a trade this week from Miami, citing growing concerns over playing multiple positions. It also doesn’t hurt that the Dolphins are committing to tearing down the talent on the roster with the intention of rebuilding with draft picks.
That’s where the Ravens should come in.
At a position already thinned by injury, with Tavon Young out for the season and Jimmy Smith out for an unknown amount of time with an MCL sprain, the move for the Ravens makes sense from an on-field perspective.
According to the Miami Herald, Fitzpatrick, who played cornerback, safety, and linebacker last week in Miami, played slot cornerback 40 percent of the time last season. In that role, he was the best among all slot cornerbacks with a 51.3 completion percentage and a 49.7 quarterback rating.
So while it’s true Fitzpatrick was torched last Sunday, it’s still true he’s an excellent young talent in search of a new start.
Sure, it's easy to blame him for getting beat. But it’s also true that he’s one of the only league-wide starting-caliber players on his team. And on the 83-yard reception to Marquise Brown (who was one of the fastest players in the NFL last Sunday), Jackson could’ve taken a nap before he threw the ball over-the-top.
With Young and Smith’s injuries, and with two excellent safeties in the secondary, Fitzpatrick could come in right away and be carried by an already stellar unit until he finds his footing.
His cap number would fit in with the team, as he’s just in the second year of a four-year rookie contract. The Ravens would have the option to extend him for the fifth season.
Baltimore, according to OverTheCap.com, is projected to have 10 picks next year after compensatory selections are finalized. That includes two third-round picks and three fourth-round selections.
For now, the Dolphins are holding off on trading Fitzpatrick, according to reports, until they receive a trade that is for “significant compensation.” But it would be foolish to think the Dolphins will receive a first round pick in return for their former first-round pick. If the compensation is right, the Ravens should pounce.
Miami has a sticky situation on their hands. Fitzpatrick has this season, then two more, before he can move on. That might prove to be too long for Fitzpatrick to handle before he tries to force his way out of town.
The Ravens shouldn’t let a poor showing from Fitzpatrick, where he played out of position in a game where teammates criticized the coaching staff for their lack of adjustments, discourage them from acquiring a still young, affordable talent in the secondary.
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