PITTSBURGH — Minkah Fitzpatrick was voted the Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 team MVP by his teammates, it was announced Friday afternoon.
Minkah Fitzpatrick has been a force on the Steelers’ defense this go-round, even after undergoing an appendectomy early on. He’s notched double the interceptions of any other player on the squad and more tackles than anyone but linebacker Myles Jack.
“Yeah, that guy really deserves it,” fellow defensive stalwart T.J. Watt said of Fitzpatrick. “He comes in here everyday and works his ass off. Honestly, he’s been awesome this year and it’s great to see all his work pay off.”
Fitzpatrick has picked off the quarterback in both of the Steelers’ last two contests, the latter of which coming against Baltimore and sealing a crucial victory.
His six thefts this year mark a personal season-best, with his previous total being five during the campaign in which he arrived in the Steel City.
The Steelers acquired Fitzpatrick in a trade with Miami in 2019 and the swap — which included a first-round draft choice — has undoubtedly paid dividends. He’s been the constant in the team’s secondary ever since and always seems to be around the football.
He’s proven to be more than a ball hawk in the defensive backfield, too. He comes down in run support and can stop ball carriers as adeptly as he snatches passes. Fitzpatrick has registered 86 takedowns going into the final week of the schedule and led the team with 124 tackles in 2021.
Last off-season, the Steelers gave Fitzpatrick a four-year contract extension that made him the highest-paid player at his position — over guys such as Seattle’s Jamal Adams and Denver’s Justin Simmons. His teammates obviously think he’s earned every dollar.