Alabama Crimson Tide: Steelers made the right decision giving Minkah Fitzpatrick record contract

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03: Minkah Fitzpatrick /

Minkah Fitzpatrick has earned a big payday. Another former Alabama Crimson Tide player gains a big payoff.

The former Alabama football safety who helped to win two national titles and appeared in three consecutive national title games has quickly made a name for himself in the NFL.

Drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round in 2018, Fitzpatrick soon became one of the best players on the defense. After competing with T.J. McDonald for the starting free safety spot for most of training camp and the preseason, Fitzpatrick was named a starter by mid-September.

He went on to start 13 of 18 games for the Dolphins, racking up 92 combined tackles, 9 pass deflections, and 2 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown).

In early 2019, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a deal that sent shockwaves throughout the league. Miami shipped the young safety to the Pittsburgh Steelers along with their 2020 fourth-round and 2021 seventh-round draft picks.

In return, the Steelers sent their 2020 first-round (Austin Jackson), 2020 fifth-round, and 2021 sixth-round draft picks. The trade has already paid off ten-fold.

The Steelers are wise to make Minkah Fitzpatrick the highest-paid safety in league history.

Four years and $73.6 million ($36 million guaranteed) for a player of Minkah Fitzpatrick’s caliber is a steal given the current market for star players in the NFL. As we saw in recent months with the wide receiver market, teams are more willing to give players massive contracts with big guaranteed money.

Fitzpatrick signing this deal sets the benchmark for impending free agents like Derwin James and Jessie Bates III, but Fitzpatrick is more than deserving of this type of deal.

Look at what he accomplished while in Tuscaloosa.

9 interceptions (6 returned for touchdowns), 110 solo tackles, 5 sacks, 22 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles. He was a two-time All-American, The Jim Thorpe Award and The Chuck Bednarik Award winner in 2017, and a two-time All-SEC first-teamer.

Alabama Crimson Tide Development Example

Minkah’s awareness combined with his fundamentals have translated to the league and he is going to be a star safety for many years to come.

He has earned a Pro Bowl spot twice already before his rookie contract expired and is coming off a season where he had more solo tackles (84) than he had combined tackles in his first two seasons in Pittsburgh!

dark. Next. Big rookie seasons ahead for these guys

Fitzpatrick roaming the secondary with T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, and Devin Bush terrorizing quarterbacks leads me to believe that the Steelers will have one of the best defenses this fall.

Thanks in large part to the free safety Built by Bama, Minkah Fitzpatrick.