After a disappointing two-year stretch with the San Francisco 49ers, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell might be heading to sign & play for a division rival, the Seattle Seahawks.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has reported that Mitchell is rumored to be on his way to visit with the Seahawks this week, following the Niners declining to pick up his option for 2019.
The 31 year old 4-3 Defensive Tackle was among the least productive senior defensive linemen in the NFL last season, playing in just 39% of the Niners’ defensive snaps, racking up 28 tackles, 2 for a loss and 3 QB hits, not registering a single sack. In two seasons with the 49ers, Mitchell missed just two games, finishing with 36 tackles and a sack, while also defended a total of 4 passes.
Overall, for the 4-year, $16 million deal the Niners signed him to in 2017, it’s far to say Mitchell disappointed, mostly in his second season. If he was younger there is a change the Bay Area team would have given him the benefit of the doubt, but in today’s NFL, a bad year for a not-too-outstanding player who is in his 30’s usually leads to him hitting the market. They did try to trade him in the weeks leading up to the option deadline, but there were no buyers.
Mitchell has been in the NFL since 2010, playing for the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins before signing with an NFC West team. He was a third round pick out of Arizona in the draft. His most productive year was 2013 with the Texans, playing as a nose tackle, gettin 48 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
The Seahawks do have 5 DTs under contract at the moment, but after losing Shamar Stephen to the Minnesota Vikings, are looking to add a bit more depth to this position, at least while the roster is still allowed to be broad. Remember, a lot of the cheaper signings in the offseason might end up getting cut the closer we get to the season.