Minkah Fitzpatrick would become Pettine’s favorite new toy if acquired

Due to various reports of the Miami Dolphins seemingly self-imploding, young safety standout Minkah Fitzpatrick has been given permission to seek out potential trades with other teams. While the Dolphins apparently do not want to give Fitzpatrick away, the Green Bay Packers would be smart to get in on the conversations to try and acquire him – here is why.

An unconfirmed Twitter betting account listed the Packers as being one of the teams involved early in trade discussions with Miami; while not confirmed by any media sources, general manager Brian Gutekunst has shown that he is willing to be invested in a lot of different trade talks across the board, consistently trying to improve the team.

For the Dolphins, they have been ‘leaking’ their desired return for Fitzpatrick in any deal, as a first-round pick plus other compensation, while a lot, is what they want for a really good young safety who is still on his rookie contract. A second-round selection and a younger player should be enough to at least start the conversation for any team, even if that does not end up being the final return package.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine loves his multi-positional defenders in his scheme, as Raven Greene has seemingly become the team’s in-box safety as well as another inside linebacker in nickel and dime coverages. For Fitzpatrick, while he has mostly played safety for the Dolphins, he has actually been rated as a better slot corner, which would immensely open up any coverage possibilities for Green Bay.

If Fitzpatrick were to come to Green Bay, it would be a smart addition in the sense that he could immediately slide into being the team’s slot corner, providing Pettine with another experienced corner. For the team’s base defense, which is three down linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs, Fitzpatrick would join Jaire Alexander, Kevin King, Adrian Amos, and rookie safety Darnell Savage in creating one of the league’s youngest and best defensive backfields.

Pettine would be able to use him in three-safety sets as well, sitting in the slot or back in his regular safety role to free up both Amos and Savage in blitzes. Fitzpatrick is a really good player in coverage as well, which is just another element that Pettine could exploit on gameday.

There has seemingly been a push to send corner Josh Jackson and a second-round pick to Miami for Fitzpatrick, which truly would be like sending them two second-round selections. This would not help the defense as much, as swapping an incumbent corner who a) knows the defensive schemes and b) is a young investment made by the front office would not add to the depth of the defensive backfield. 

A smart trade package would represent a second-round selection plus something else, maybe like an offensive lineman, especially since the Dolphins, after they traded left tackle Laremy Tunsil, are fielding the league’s worst offensive line grouping. Potentially packaging utility linemen Lane Taylor with a second-round selection would be a solid starting point that should entice Miami in their apparent fire sale.

If Gutekunst and his front office are serious about improving this team now, then making a trade for Fitzpatrick would go a long way to showing just how serious they are about making sure that the prime of Aaron Rodgers is not gone to waste due to a struggling defensive unit.

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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23

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