Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Friday afternoon on Twitter that the Steelers plan to release safety Mike Mitchell per team sources. It is also reported that the Steelers could try to bring back Mitchell for a cheaper salary. Mitchell’s tweet from earlier today seems to have been put in perspective with today’s report.
It is what it is.
— Mike Mitchell (@iammikemitchell) March 9, 2018
The Steelers are currently over the cap by $4.7 million (including dead money and draft pool money). The team is also in the midst of negotiating a contract extension with star running back Le’Veon Bell. Mitchell has been rumored to potentially be traded away, along with his $8.1 million cap hit, but being released is a bit unexpected.
If the Steelers are able to bring back Mitchell on a cheaper deal, it’s a big win for them. There is obvious risk with releasing him because he could sign with any team and the Steelers don’t have a player of Mitchell’s caliber to slot in at free safety.
If the Steelers can’t bring Mitchell back, their strategy in the upcoming NFL Draft may change. It’s been reported their biggest need is at inside linebacker due to Ryan Shazier missing all of the upcoming season as he recovers from his spinal injury. They may take a longer look at addressing the safety position early on in the draft of Mitchell is no longer in black and gold.
Let’s Talk Steelers will continue to monitor this situation with Mitchell.