Panthers safety Mike Mitchell has said he thinks the NFL is targeting him for fines. Based on his latest comments, he could be getting targeted even more.
Appearing on the FnA podcast from FOX Sports L.A., Mitchell accused Saints quarterback Drew Brees of flopping after being hit by 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks on Sunday.
“The thing that I hated about the play, the whole thing, and this is what these offensive guys are doing, they’re kind of running with it,” Mitchell said. “Drew Brees is throwing a fit in the post-game interview saying how he got hit in the chin and he was dazed, and all this other stuff. And it’s like, dude, the replay clearly shows he did not even touch you in the chin.
“Stop being soft, get up off the ground,” Mitchell said. “You fumbled the football, that’s why the only reason you were acting like you were hurt, is so you could draw a flag.”
Mitchell predicts that receivers and quarterbacks will “roll around on the ground” in an effort to get a flag, and he’d like to see the NFL implement a flopping rule.
“You saw the play with Drew Brees,” Mitchell said. “He did not get hit in the chin. He got hit hard, which he should have got hit hard because we are playing full speed tackle football. And he fumbled the football. And I think that’s really was the reason he was down so long. He was really trying to sell that and trying to get a flag. And obviously it worked, and their team was able to steal a win because of that play.”
Mitchell expresses concern that the nature of the sport is “combative,” and that “football needs to remain football.”
“There’s a reason everyone can’t do this,” Mitchell said. “And there’s a certain physical aspect of the game that correlates mentally. You know, people being able to take that type of punishment.”
He’s right, but there’s a balance between showing how much punishment a guy can take at the age of 25 and being able to function at the age of 52.
For now, Mitchell will avoid the financial punishment by administering punishment lower, in order to avoid financial punishment.
“You just have to lower the target level,” Mitchell said regarding hits on receivers. “I know wide-receivers are getting pissed about guys hitting them in the knees, but I’m not trying to get give another $20,000 to the NFL, so you will get hit in the in the stomach or the knee area by me. I’m not doing it in a dirty way at all to hurt anyone, but at the same time I’m not getting these $50 million contracts.”
He’ll be facing a guy with a $120 million contract soon. Twice. His name is Drew Brees. And Mitchell’s comments make an already interesting pair of games between the Panthers and Saints even more compelling.