One of the rising stars of the NFL has asked to be traded. Should the Green Bay Packers trade for him? Here’s why they shouldn’t.
The Packers, in a little over two years, have completely remade their defense. While they still have a lot to prove before they are cemented as one of the best in the game, they are undoubtedly better than they have been in recent years. Now that Minkah Fitzpatrick is looking to force his way out of Miami, one of the first teams that come to mind as a potential suitor are the Packers.
On the surface, it seems like a perfect fit: An ascending player who’s barely making any money joining an ascending defense. The Packers were also in love with Fitzpatrick before the draft and actively pursued avenues in which to trade up to get him. The Dolphins ended up taking him three spots ahead of the Packers’ pick.
However, it’s just not that simple. Both Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage had strong openers against the Bears, and trading for another safety shouldn’t be too high on Green Bay’s list of priorities. The depth in the secondary is the best that it’s been since the team’s Super Bowl run, so trading considerable draft capital for another up-and-comer is a risky proposition.
As currently constructed, the Packers don’t seem to have a spot for Fitzpatrick on the depth chart. Starting on either side of the defense are Tony Brown and Jaire Alexander, both of whom had excellent openers.
Tramon Williams, the veteran leader of the secondary, is currently manning the slot, and Josh Jackson and Kevin King are solid backups. Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage have completely retooled the safety position, so adding a third player who figures to be a starter is a misuse of resources.
Of course, adding a potential superstar to an already talented secondary is far from a bad thing. The Packers would have an embarrassment of riches in the secondary, and could give defensive coordinator Mike Pettine the freedom to pursue virtually any defensive orientation he wants.
But, the price for Fitzpatrick doesn’t quite square with what they would actually be receiving. At a minimum, a trade for the former Alabama safety would cost a third-round pick, and probably more. While the Packers have already added two picks via trade into next year’s draft, trading a pick that high for someone they might not be able to extract the absolute best from could backfire quickly.
The Packers also need to understand that if there is any potential trade they might make right before the deadline, it might need to involve the offense instead of the defense. The receiving corps is one injury away from being completely compromised, and the attention being paid to Davante Adams is forcing others to step up in ways they may not be ready to just yet.
Fitzpatrick would be a great addition to any team, but a team that may not really need him shouldn’t move heaven and earth to acquire him.