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Minkah Fitzpatrick: Deal shows Steelers’ ‘commitment to winning’

Sportsnaut
Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) in action against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

A day after Pittsburgh made him the NFL’s highest-paid safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick said his payday once again proves that the Steelers are committed to winning now.

“The thing I appreciate most about this organization is commitment to winning,” Fitzpatrick told reporters Thursday at Pittsburgh’s minicamp. “Everything we do, even me coming here, is a commitment to winning.”

Fitzpatrick noted how the Steelers originally acquired him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins just hours after learning that then-quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 of 2019.

“It could’ve been a season where we lost our starting quarterback, legendary Hall of Fame quarterback, it could’ve been a season where they just tanked and decided to call it quits. But they went out and acquired me and acquired a few other guys and said we’re going to do what we’ve got to do to win games.”

Fitzpatrick, 25, agreed to a four-year extension Wednesday that reportedly pays him more than $18.4 million per season. That eclipses Jamal Adams’ $17.5 million salary with the Seattle Seahawks.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, Fitzpatrick recorded a career-high 124 tackles to go with two interceptions in 16 starts for the Steelers last season.

Fitzpatrick said the new contract strengthens his commitment to reward the Steelers for their faith.

“These guys trust me with this amount of money, so now it’s my duty to go out there and play at a high level and show them that I deserve this compensation,” he said.

Fitzpatrick has 352 tackles, 13 interceptions, five fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles in 64 career games (59 starts) with the Dolphins and Steelers. He was selected by the Dolphins with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media