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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Steelers sign Mike Mitchell

The Steelers signed a player on the opening day of free agency for the first time in as long as I can remember, scooping up Carolina's Mike Mitchell, a free safety with a five-year, $25-million deal.

Mitchell was on my free agency list to watch and is a good signing.

He recorded four interceptions and four sacks last season in Carolina after playing his first four seasons in Oakland and is considered a good blitzer with excellent speed.

Not that this is surprising, but the signing ends Ryan Clark's tenure in Pittsburgh, something Clark confirmed Monday night when he tweeted that he had not received an offer from the Steelers.

With Mitchell on board, the Steelers now have quality starters and depth at safety with Troy Polamalu, Shamarko Thomas and Will Allen also coming back.

@ The Steelers have also begun negotiations with the agent for free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.

Cotchery, who led the Steelers with 10 TD catches in 2013, is an unrestricted free agent.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a joke the steelers front office is!! Verner just signed with the bucs 4 years 26 million. That ain't shit for a yound stud cb coming off a pro bowl season. Instead they sign Mitchell Who is awful n coverage. Just don't understand it. I know you like the Mitchell signing Dale but c'mon were in desperate need of a good young corner after screwing up with Keenan Lewis and now they screw up again

Dale Lolley said...

Verner is a cover-2 corner. Didn't necessarily fit what they want to do.

But you're right. The Tampa Bay front office runs circles around the Steelers.

Dale Lolley said...

Funny thing is that the agent throws some team names out there and everyone gets excited without actually looking at the player. There's no proof the Steelers were ever even interested. Just reports linking two-and-two.

Patrick said...

it will be telling if the Steelers address ILB in draft or FA and don't touch d-line in a big way about who they feel was most responsible for problems on D last year.

bruinmann77 said...

Yes the TB FO JUST WONDERFUL WITH ALL THOSE SB TROPHIES

Pistol said...

Mitchell is a SOLID safety. He was in over his head the first few years with the Raiders but like all good players he's gotten better every year and he can HIT! Great dude too.

marc said...

@patrick, i don't necessarily disagree, but it also may be telling of the options that are available to them. i think we will see a few more FA's for depth/flexibility heading into the draft, as usual.

getting mitchell and resigning taylor to 1 year has me thinking WR in the first round and CB/DL in the second now.

Patrick said...

I actually forgot that Ziggy was a free agent, so then my logic is hard to apply, given that 2 DE's will be gone, considering Kiesel. So they have to do something with the dline.

Al Woods could be a big loss.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

@marc WR first round was just what I was thinking, hope that they address ILB before the draft, anything, something. Williams, Timmons, Spence, Garvin as your Linebacker corps. makes me uneasy.

Anonymous said...

Just guessing but I don't think anon 9:39 said anything about tampa's FO being better than the steelers, sounds like it may be a little frustration with the cornerback situation with which I completely agree. A. Verner didn't break the bank and could've been playing in black and gold next year with a contract like that. Instead Colbert and co opt for a safety when they Already have Troy shamarko golden will Allen etc. Our corners are Cortez and will gay for heavens sake!! I understand the frustration.

rvaccare said...

I am struggling to figure out what about 4 INTs, 4 sacks, and 2nd in tackles behind Luke Keuchley (sp?) does not fit into the Steelers defensive scheme. Some people are friggin' idiots.

Anonymous said...

Eric Decker anyone? Maybe too pricy.

Dale Lolley said...

People must realize that part of the troubles Ike had at corner last season stemmed from getting no help from the free safety who was unable to close any ground to cover.

Any corner - ANY CORNER - left one-on-one without help against the top WRs in the league is going to look bad.

Is Ike losing it some? Yes. But the decline isn't so bad that they needed to go out and sign a 5-10. 180-pound corner who runs a 4.53 40. Yes, those are Verner's measureables. HE DOESN'T FIT WHAT THE STEELERS DO.

Anonymous said...

Then why were the steelers looking in to him?? Also carolinas front 7 is the best in the league. They made Mitchell and munerly look better than they were. Rvaccare must be a "friggin idiot" to not see that for himself. I live in Carolina and watched every game last year. 3 of Mitchell's 4 picks were a direct result of pressure up the middle an the 4th was on a tipped pass. It's on tape watch it b4 u make stupid comments

adamg said...

Mithcell is exactly the same player Ryan Clark was when he was signed, except bigger.

The Steelers didn't have many dbs with INTs regardless of how the ball got to them. It will be nice to have one who can catch whatever comes his way.

Also the Steelers re-signed Cody Wallace and Greg Warren. The Wallace signing probably means neither Velasco nor Whimper will return.

One thing about Mitchell and Wallace is both are still young and have low football mileage on them.

marc said...

based on everything I've read, verner fits the mold of a smaller dropback zone cover guy who doesn't have higher end speed. I'm not sure that fits into the steelers plans and what they ask their top 2 corners to do.

however, playing behind Carolina's front 7 has to be rather beneficial to any defensive back. expectations for Mitchell in the steeler's system should be put on hold until we see him on the field. for now, I put faith in that the steelers got what they wanted in Mitchell.

Anonymous said...

No team made a weaker splash in free agency this past offseason than the Steelers. They added just one player who should make an impact in 2006, and that was safety Ryan Clark. Clark was signed from Washington after Chris Hope signed with Tennessee. Pittsburgh made little to no attempt to re-sign Hope, who was an integral part of the Super Bowl Champions last season. Clark isn’t a lock to earn the starter’s role either, since the Steelers used a third-round draft pick on Syracuse safety Anthony Smith.

Anonymous said...

Mitchell may have benefited from Carolina's front seven, but I believe he will also benefit from Lake's coaching

Anonymous said...

Carolina's front 7 is no doubt very good. But lets not dismiss Mitchell's accomplishments last year nor ignore the ability of the Steelers brass to effectively analyze Mitchell's role in the Panther D. Whatever Panther games you watched on TV(where the FS isn't even the screen 90% of the time) and youtube highlights you watched Anon 11:32, I promise you the Steelers front office and coaches have watch much more than you. The guys measurables are through the roof and he is starting to translate that to the field. The Panthers front 7 ahd 60 sacks and I don't know how many pressures tipped balls etc, etc but their are probably 350-400 other plays where from last season where their was a clean pocket and a clean pass was delivered by their opposing QB. I am sure the Steelers looked at everyone of those downs. Or at least the vast majority. Plus the contract details that have come out about this contract with Mitchell indicate the Steelers know this guys isn't a sure fire solution. But he easily could be.

Anonymous said...

...And that is just pass plays. Their are just as many running plays on tape where they can analyze the angles he took and his tackling prowess and what not. Panther front 7 or not, I am sure a RB busted in the second level more than a few times. in the 14 games Mitchell played last year.

Anonymous Brian said...

If Mitchell is a solid starting safety - which it seems like he is - then it's a good signing, no matter the cornerback situation. And he's fast and young-ish. Cool.

I think Taylor's been overrated by Steelers, fans, etc. even in his prime, but since he's not insanely much more expensive than a scrap-heap CB for a year, well, whatever, obviously the Steelers love him. Hopefully he'll have a solid last year. (Maybe he's saving all his interceptions for this season :) )

Why has no one made a proctologist joke yet?

Hope they sign Cotchery yesterday.

Dale Lolley said...

Where's any proof the Steelers were interested in Verner? Even when I wrote it, I said they had "reportedly" contacted Verner. That was coming from an agent. There was no way they were going to make a pitch to sign a high-priced corner. Just wasn't going to happen.

They especially weren't going to sign a cover-2 corner, which is what Verner is, and a 5-10, 180-pound who is a 4.53 guy to boot. Will Gay is bigger than that for cripes sakes.

I don't care if Mitchell's interceptions were created by pressure. The fact of the matter is, he caught them. How many balls that were batted into the air fell to the ground for the Steelers over the past two seasons? A lot. How many did Clark drop? Quite a few. I'll take a guy who can play centerfield and catch over the guy who no longer has any range and can't catch.

And Mitchell's 2014 cap hit is less than half of Verner's.

The Steelers will draft the corner they want, not overpay for one in free agency.