As trade rumors swirled around Minkah Fitzpatrick, the safety was still on the field for the Miami Dolphins against the New England Patriots.
But could it be his last game as a Dolphin?
“I can’t tell you the future,” Fitzpatrick said after playing in a 43-0 loss to the Patriots on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. “I’m not a genie, so I couldn’t tell you.”
Fitzpatrick, who has publicly expressed dissatisfaction with his oft-shifting role, started at the safety spot opposite Bobby McCain with Reshad Jones sidelined by an ankle injury. It was ultimately a more comfortable spot for the former first-round pick to play a week removed from the worst game of his career.
Fitzpatrick’s complaints about his role with Miami have been varied. In a blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday, Fitzpatrick lined up as a safety, linebacker and nickel cornerback, and a source told the Miami Herald he emerged from the game convinced the Dolphins (0-2) didn’t have a clear plan with regards to his usage.
Fitzpatrick was particularly vocal about his unhappiness with playing as the safety in the box. In the loss to New England (2-0) on Sunday, he often lined up as Miami’s deep safety and said he was more happy with his role.
“I just forgot about all the distractions, all the talk and said just go out there and have fun,” Fitzpatrick said.
The defensive back declined to say whether his new role Sunday might help lead to him retracting his trade request, but he said he expects to be back to work tomorrow as a Dolphin after recording six tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in Miami Gardens.
The Dolphins would like to bring back at least a first-round pick in exchange for Fitzpatrick. It is expected he will be traded by the end of the week.
“As long as I’ve got the aqua and orange on my chest,” Fitzpatrick said, “then that’s what I am.”
Fitzpatrick said the reporting about his trade request has been accurate. He’s not upset about word getting out, either, because he knew it was inevitable.”
“There’s probably a whole bunch of things that are wrong, the process behind everything is probably totally off because nobody knows what’s going on in the building,” Fitzpatrick said. “I don’t think I need to answer to the world. It’s a business. You’ve got to walk and act like it’s a business. You don’t tell everybody what you’re doing if you’re a businessman. You keep it to yourself and keep it moving.
“I knew eventually it would be out there. Obviously, I wished it stayed a little bit hush-hush, but it is what it is. I knew it was going to be out there at some point.”