The Miami brass has given agent Joel Segal permission to seek a trade, and he is making calls to other teams, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero confirmed.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen first reported the news.
TheDolphinsare not making calls themselves, per Pelissero, but have given Segal consent to send out feelers to other organizations to see if he can get his client out of South Beach.
While theDolphins‘ season has got off to an inauspicious start, the defensive back’s issue in Miami isn’t the potential tanking quandary, but rather how he’s been used by the coaching staff.
Fitzpatrick has made clear he’s unhappy that he feels he’s playing out of position. During his rookie campaign, the former first-round pick split his time at safety and slot corner. The newDolphinscoaching staff again yo-yoed him between three or four different roles in the team’s Week 1 blowout loss to theBaltimore Ravens.
Fitzpatrick hasn’t shied away from verbalizing his discomfort with how he’s used. During training camp joint practices with theTampa Bay Buccaneers, Fitzpatrick’s mother noted on Twitter that her son was being misused as a strong safety to make up for other defenders’ shortcomings.
The DB didn’t brush aside those comments and agreed with his mother.
“She’s not wrong,” Fitzpatrick said at the time. “Coach has asked me to do something right now. I got to do what they ask me to do. If we have to have some discussions in the future, we’ll have those discussions. I’m not 215 pounds, 220 pounds. So, playing in the box isn’t best suited for me, but that’s what coach is asking me to do.”
In theory, Fitzpatrick’s versatility should be a perfect fit in coach Brain Flores’ defense. In practice, the player isn’t comfortable, and it’s leading to poor showings on the field.
TheDolphinsmade the Alabama product the No. 11 pick in the 2017 draft. Given how rookie contracts are structured, Miami has already paid out much of his deal, which could mean a bargain for any team who trades for the final three years of the deal (or four years with the fifth-year team option on first-rounders).
Pelissero reports that the price of a potential trade is unclear at this stage, but teams believe it’d be significant — perhaps in the range of a second-round pick. The price underscores that theDolphinswon’t trade the 22-year-old just because he wants out.
TheDolphinsbrought in a massive haul forLaremy Tunsil, taking advantage of the dearth at left tackle around the league and theHouston Texans‘ desperation. Teams could initially balk at the asking price for a defensive back who hasn’t looked comfortable on the field early in his career. At this stage, theDolphinshave no incentive to trade Fitzpatrick for anything less than top dollar.