Good news to the many of you who rushed out to buy Minkah Fitzpatrick jerseys this fall. You won’t need to find your receipt and return them. Fitzpatrick announced on Twitter he’s keeping his #39, crediting all the good karma who got from a very successful 2019.
That was the same approach he took at Alabama, where he wore an uninspiring #29, but one that treated him so well he stuck with it. He eventually became the Miami Dolphins’ first round pick in 2018.
“I did the same thing with No. 39 when I got to Pittsburgh,” he told Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley. “I promised myself if it treats me well, if I make the Pro Bowl or All-Pro or whatever it may be, I am going to keep it. “I did those things so I am going to stick with it. I’m keeping No. 39.”
Fitzpatrick helped transform the Steelers’ secondary this past year, becoming its biggest DB playmaker since Troy Polamalu. He ended the year tied for the team lead with five interceptions, becoming the first Steeler to pick off 4+ in a season since Polamalu in 2011. Joe Haden would eventually join the club by season’s end.
Looking back, it’s as no-brainer of a win as Kevin Colbert has had over the past decade. Pittsburgh won’t be picking in the first round for the first time since 1967 but they weren’t going to find a player at #18 better than Fitzpatrick. He’s still cheap, under his rookie contract, and if you can believe it, should perform even better with a full offseason and preseason with the team.