Earl Mitchell

Former NFL DT Earl Mitchell Retires

Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell has announced his retirement from the NFL after nine seasons, as he announced on his Instagram.

“I thought that I would be sad when I decided to let go of something I’ve loved for so long. I feel grateful to walk away with no regrets knowing I gave it my all. After 9 great years, I’m officially retiring from the National Football League. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Since 2002 I’ve dedicated my life to this game. When I first stepped into the locker room at North Shore, I decided to put my all into learning something that I knew nothing about. If it wasn’t for this game I would have never been able to achieve my original dream of going to and graduating college. I’m extremely proud of my career and I appreciate all of those who have supported me along the way.”

A third-round pick out of Arizona in 2010, Mitchell spent the first four years of his career with the Texans before inking a four-year, $16MM deal with the Dolphins in 2014. After three seasons in Miami, another four-year deal followed, this time with the 49ers. Mitchell played in San Francisco for two years before getting released.

Mitchell briefly latched on with the Seahawks this summer, and may have still been able to draw free agent interest, as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reports the 32-year-old still had some suitors (Twitter link). Instead, Mitchell will hang up his cleats having appeared in 130 career games (66 starts) and collected more than $23MM in career earnings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/9/19

Here are Wednesday’s updates from the workout circuit. Unless otherwise noted, all links go to the Twitter account of the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Workout Updates: 9/10/19

We’ve got another busy day of workouts, with many teams across the league hosting players.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Seahawks Get Down To 53 Players

The Seahawks have made their roster cuts. Perhaps most notably, they cut quarterback Geno Smith. Since they already waived Paxton Lynch last night and also waived J.T. Barrett, they currently have no passers on the roster behind Russell Wilson. It’s possible the team is just maneuvering the roster and planning on re-signing Smith. If not, they’ll be adding a veteran in the coming days.

The Seahawks had a crowded running backs room, and J.D. McKissic and Bo Scarbrough ended up as the odd-men out. A lot of people were expecting Jaron Brown to start the year as the team’s number two receiver while D.K. Metcalf recovers from his knee injury, but he didn’t even end up making the initial 53. Brown was set to make $2.75MM, so maybe he’ll be brought back after the regular season starts when his contract won’t be guaranteed.

Here’s the full list of moves:

Released:

FB Nick Bellore

WR Jaron Brown

QB Geno Smith

CB Jamar Taylor

Waived:

QB J.T. Barrett

 RB J.D. McKissic

RB Bo Scarbrough

CB Simeon Thomas

RB Xavier Turner

Waived/injured:

CB Jeremy Boykins

G Phil Haynes

Injured reserve:

Contract Details: Sproles, Kendricks, Hawks

A look at the details on recent deals from around the NFL:

  • Darren Sproles, RB (Eagles): One year, $1.33MM. $600K fully guaranteed, including a $300K signing bonus. $650K in performance bonuses, classified as NLTBE incentives, exist in Sproles’ contract for a Pro Bowl appearance and unspecified yardage totals, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.
  • Lance Kendricks, TE (Patriots): One year, $1.02MM. Kendricks’ $50K signing bonus represents this deal’s only guarantees. If he makes the team, he will earn a $930K veteran minimum base salary. Kendricks, who can also earn $40K worth of per-game roster bonuses, will count $735K toward New England’s cap, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets.
  • Earl Mitchell, DT (Seahawks): One year, $930K. $90K signing bonus. Mitchell will carry a $735K cap number, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com notes.

Seahawks, DT Earl Mitchell Agree To Deal

After a methodical approach to defensive line upgrades this offseason, the Seahawks moved quickly this week. Jarran Reed‘s suspension prompted the team to revisit Earl Mitchell, who agreed to terms Wednesday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

Mitchell was one of a few defensive tackles to visit Seattle this offseason, making his trip in March. The team passed at that point and did the same after Corey Liuget paid a visit in April. The Seahawks opted for Al Woods, who joined Liuget on that visit. Now, the team — the only one connected to Mitchell this offseason — will employ both Woods and Mitchell.

News of Reed’s six-game ban led the Seahawks to pursue outside help, and Mitchell will join Woods, Poona FordQuinton Jefferson and Jamie Meder as key Seattle interior linemen. Mitchell, 31, has started for three teams in a nine-year career. Most recently, he worked as a first-stringer for the 49ers, joining their crew of first-round defensive line investments. Mitchell has started 66 games for the Texans, Dolphins and 49ers.

After failing to find a trade partner, the 49ers released Mitchell just before free agency. He spent four seasons in Houston, three in Miami and will likely serve as a lower-cost option for a Seahawks team that will be without Reed (10.5 sacks in 2018) for six games.

In addition to the Mitchell signing, Seattle also signed WR Daniel Williams. To make room, the club waived RB Marcelias Sutton and CB Derrek Thomas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Host Earl Mitchell, Nick Bellore

The Seahawks are sniffing around some of the players left over from the first wave of free agency. Seattle hosted defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and fullback Nick Bellore for visits, a source told Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Mitchell spent the past two seasons as a division rival with the 49ers, while Bellore was with the Lions the last two years. Mitchell, an Arizona product, was drafted by the Texans in the third round back in 2010. He played well enough with the Texans to earn a four-year, $16MM deal from the Dolphins back in 2014. After three years of that deal, he was cut and signed in San Francisco.

Mitchell appeared in 14 games with 12 starts last season, filling a rotational role as a run-stuffing piece in the middle. Overall, he logged 33.8% of the defensive snaps for the 49ers. Pro Football Focus gave him average grades for his work.

Bellore is an interesting case, as he can play both linebacker and fullback. An inside linebacker coming out of Central Michigan, Bellore spent the first six seasons of his career as a linebacker with the Jets and 49ers. Prior to the 2017 season, he signed with Detroit and was converted to a fullback. He played just 11 percent of the offensive snaps as a lead blocker, but was a major contributor on special teams.

It’s unclear if he’d have any interest in moving back to linebacker with the Seahawks or if they view him strictly as a fullback. The Seahawks haven’t been the biggest spenders so far in free agency, so it makes sense they’d take a look at some more under the radar guys. According to Overthecap.com, the Seahawks have the seventh-least cap space left with $11.57MM.

Seahawks To Meet With Earl Mitchell

Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell will visit the Seahawks on Wednesday, a source tells Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter). Mitchell became available earlier offseason when the Niners declined to pick up his option for 2019. 

Mitchell, 31, inked a four-year, $16MM deal with the 49ers last offseason after previously spending time with the Texans and Dolphins. In 2018, Mitchell appeared in 14 games and played on 39% of San Francisco’s defensive snaps, racking up 28 tackles (two for loss) in that time. Pro Football Focus graded Mitchell as just the No. 89 interior defender among 112 qualifiers.

After losing Shamar Stephen to the Vikings, the Seahawks are on the lookout for help in the middle. As it stands, the Seahawks have five DTs under contract in Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Quinton Jefferson, Nazair Jones, and Jamie Meder.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Shopping DT Earl Mitchell

The 49ers are attempting to trade defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Reports in January indicated San Francisco was planning to decline its 2019 option for Mitchell, but the 49ers didn’t announce that move among a series of housekeeping transactions earlier today (which included the club turning down wide receiver Pierre Garcon‘s 2019 option). As such, the 49ers are likely trying to recoup some sort of value for Mitchell before releasing him.

If/when San Francisco cuts Mitchell, his tenure with the team may not be over, as general manager John Lynch indicated he’s open to re-signing the veteran defensive lineman. Mitchell had been scheduled to collect roughly $3.6MM in 2019 via his base salary, roster bonus, and workout bonus, so he’d surely need to accept less than that figure in order to return to the Bay Area.

Mitchell, 31, inked a four-year, $16MM deal with the 49ers last offseason after previously spending time with the Texans and Dolphins. In 2018, Mitchell appeared in 14 games and played on 39% of San Francisco’s defensive snaps, racking up 28 tackles (two for loss) in that time. Pro Football Focus graded Mitchell as just the No. 89 interior defender among 112 qualifiers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Open To Earl Mitchell Return

The Niners will not exercise Earl Mitchell‘s option for 2019, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s off the team. GM John Lynch has not closed the door on bringing the defensive tackle back at a lower price, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com tweets

Mitchell probably would have liked to play out the final two years of his four-year contract, but on the plus side, his release gives him an opportunity to explore the open market sooner. There should be a healthy market for his services as well – Mitchell offers plenty of experience and he won’t turn 32 until September.

Still, Mitchell may have to wait until after the first wave of free agency in March to find his next landing spot. Typically, teams are focused on higher-ticket items when free agency first gets underway and players of Mitchell’s caliber usually don’t get real attention until the end of the month.

Mitchell finished out the 2018 season with 28 tackles across 14 games (12 starts). Had he been retained by the Niners, he would have counted for a $4.45MM cap figure in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.