Mike Mitchell and other FA safeties “just being as patient as possible”

Getty Images

There are plenty of differences between Tre Boston, Tyvon Branch, Mike Mitchell, Eric Reid and Kenny Vaccaro, but one thing all the veteran safeties have in common is the lack of a job for the 2018 season.

The free agent market for safeties never took flight this offseason and those five players are still looking for work after the end of offseason programs. Mitchell, who was released by the Steelers in March, said on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Alex Marvez and Brad Hopkins that the group is “just being as patient as possible” when it comes to landing with teams.

Mitchell said he “can’t really put a finger” on why things have not developed, but did offer one theory.

“Our sport isn’t like basketball, it isn’t like baseball where contracts are guaranteed, so definitely the teams are taking advantage of the leverage that they have and they don’t have to sign guys,” Mitchell said. “They can obviously go out and get cheaper, younger players, I guess, if that’s what they want to do. I think there’s something to be said about the veteran talent that’s out there, still a lot of guys that have played this game awhile and just done it at a high level for a long time, so we’ll just see how the rest of the summer plays out.”

There’s little choice for any of the safeties other than to hold fast and wait to see if things loosen up as teams take stock of their secondaries heading into training camp and the regular season. It seems likely that some of the players named above will find work, but the last few months suggest it may not wind up being a clean sweep.

23 responses to “Mike Mitchell and other FA safeties “just being as patient as possible”

  1. Uh, Mike Mitchell mentions cheaper and younger but he neglected to mention faster with an ability to hang onto the ball when it hits them in the hands…..

  2. Remember when this happened (and continues to happen) to veteran RBs? And vet, back-up QBs (not even referencing Kaep, but he could be included)?

    But yeah, no collusion of any sort from the front offices/owners/check writers.

  3. I couldn’t believe it when the Steelers overpaid for him a few years back.

    He’s subpar. He’s slow and doesn’t have good football IQ.

  4. If Reid would stand during the national anthem. I’d wish the 9ERS would bring him back on a one year deal.

    Plus he had versatility by filling in at safety and LB position if needed

  5. The league is simply trying to devalue the safety position, just as they have done with running backs, how many times have we heard that a 4th round RB can be just as effective. Receivers are next on their hit list.

  6. It’s obviously racism. It can’t just be that they’ve overpriced themselves. Amirit ???

  7. Is Reid really being patient? Didn’t he launch a lawsuit to the effect that the way things are going is actually due to a plot to get him? And I think we only waited a week or so into his free agency to go that route.

  8. You’re right. Why pay for cheaper players with upside when you can overpay for veterans who have already hit their ceiling and are on the way done.
    Mike was never the brightest guy.

  9. faithful49er707 says:
    June 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    If Reid would stand during the national anthem. I’d wish the 9ERS would bring him back on a one year deal.

    Plus he had versatility by filling in at safety and LB position if needed

    —————————-
    Honestly I dont think that has a thing to do with it. Nor do I really care. If he gets onto a team its none of my business what he does, thats between him and the team. As for me I am going to watch football either way and only worry about football as I do.

  10. As you get older those skills diminish, why would teams pay older vets big money when they can get a younger player for a quarter of the price that has more upside. The players were not very smart when the bargained the rookie wage scale, now they are not getting the big money at the beginning or the end of their careers.

  11. Mike is waiting for that perfect opportunity. He’s certain some team wants a loud mouth, chest beating, can’t back up his words, too slow, too dumb, takes horrible angles, can’t tackle, hot head kind of guy.

    I mean, really, who wouldn’t want him?

  12. 700levelvet says:
    June 19, 2018 at 2:10 pm
    The league is simply trying to devalue the safety position, just as they have done with running backs, how many times have we heard that a 4th round RB can be just as effective. Receivers are next on their hit list.
    _________________________________________

    You are correct on this assessment. Afterall, the money for those $150 million dollar contracts paid to mediocre QB’s has to come from somewhere.

  13. This might work out well for teams that have stud safeties who are about to become FA’s (looking at you Giants). As far as the position being devalued, basically a safety needs to have hands nowadays. The big blasting free safety of the past isnt a thing anymore. The NFL took that position away.

  14. Mitchell is clearly finished an as NFL player, Branch is 32 and has a torn ACL. Vaccaro hasn’t really played safety in 2 years and struggled badly when he did…most teams don’t view him as a safety or a starter at any position.

    Reid and Boston are the guys who should be signed, and we know the situation with Reid.

  15. I really can’t add much to the umpteen reasons noone in their right mind wants Mitchell, but if you are looking for someone who takes the crappiest angles possible, he’s your guy!

  16. Reid is at best the second best and at worst the fourth best safety on that list, Brandon. Vaccaro is the best and is still fairly young, Boston has some good years recently to get on track from his first couple of years in Carolina, and Mitchell, though he has experience and is a hard hitter and strong leader, has issues in pass coverage and is questionable when it comes to flags. Reid is a pure run support safety with no coverage skills and questionable football I.Q.

    Of course, that could be said for most safeties on this list, but a few of them (like Vaccaro and Boston and probably Branch, since he’s been a backup a few times in his career, but his ACL injury makes him risky) will likely be signed if an injury occurs or just before the season. Most teams are happy with the safeties they’ve got, anyway. Mitchell is old and penalty prone, Reid is bad in coverage and is suing the NFL, Boston has “Manny being Manny” moments in coverage occasionally, as does Vaccaro. Reid will probably wait a while for a call.

  17. MItchell was the worst FA by the Steelers ever. Never made a big play, drew penalties because he wanted to be on SportsCenter, and ran his mouth incessantly. I loved it when Fournette ran him over. Good luck finding a stupid team that will sign this bum.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!