3 reasons Steelers no longer the winner of Fitzpatrick trade
Fitzpatrick’s 2020 play has been lackluster
The Steelers need a rangy FS well before Fitzpatrick became available via trade. The team had tried to put Mike Mitchell there, and after he was cut, they wanted Sean Davis to transition to that spot. Worse yet, he got injured early last season, meaning the Steelers were faced with starting Kameron Kelly, which likely would have been a disaster.
Fitzpatrick was a high pedigree guy who had the look of a top safety, which made him an obvious fit with the Steelers. The price for him was steep though, as the Steelers rarely move a first-round pick. This means they viewed Fitzpatrick as a potentially elite defender, and during his first year with the Steelers, he backed that up. This year though, his production has fallen off in a major way.
So far in 2020, Fitzpatrick has only 11 tackles with no accredited turnovers. Worse yet, QBs have completed 7/9 passes his way and have averaged a rating of 111.1 when targeting him. Those numbers are abysmal for a player who is praised for their pass coverage and ability to bait a QB into making mistakes. While he does have almost a whole year’s worth of tape in a Steelers uniform, the difference between a good player and a great player is adjusting to teams adjusting around you.
While QBs may not be as likely to throw Fitzpatrick’s way in 2020, but that can’t stop him from having a good season. He needs to be able to adjust to this and return to his 2019 form. If he can’t then the Steelers are faced with an ugly reality: they overplayed for a player and lost out in a trade.