Ten months since the Steelers sent a first-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick, the trade many believed was "too much," proved to be a bargain.
On Sept. 16, Fitzpatrick's plea to be traded out of Miami was granted, and the Steelers found the missing piece to their defense. In the following 14 weeks of the NFL season, the addition of the safety would turn Pittsburgh into a league-leading unit in takeovers.
The trade wasn't taken well by some - or many, really. For the most part, the initial reaction was that the Steelers sent a top ten pick to Miami in return for a young safety who hasn't proven himself.
Over time, those reactions stopped. The Steelers only gave Miami the 18th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and seven turnovers and an All-Pro selection later, it was clear that Fitzpatrick was one of the best young defenders in the NFL.
That was during the season. Today, late-July, the trade has gone from "a bad move for Pittsburgh," to an absolute steal for the Steelers.
The New York Jets trading Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for two first-round picks (2021, 2022) and a third-round pick (2021) blows anything the Steelers could've potentially sent to the Dolphins out of the water.
Adams' rookie contract ends after the 2020 season if the Seahawks don't choose to keep him for his fifth-year. Adams has made it very clear that he wants his second contract instead of playing under his rookie deal for two more seasons, which Seattle is now expected to negotiate with him after the trade.
That's two first-rounders and a third-round pick for a player who would potentially be a free agent in 2021.
Fitzpatrick has two years remaining on his rookie deal, will allow the Steelers to negotiate with T.J. Watt and other veterans before having to pay top tier safety money, and cost two draft picks less.
The overreactions are behind them, and the talent was well-worth the trade. But today, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert can sit back and laugh, because what they pulled off ten months ago was highway robbery in today's NFL.