The Pittsburgh Steelers still haven’t officially released safety Mike Mitchell as of yet and already there is talk about him possibly returning at a later date.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert both spoke Tuesday with Mitchell and they apparently told the veteran safety they’re still interested in bringing him back at a later date and presumably at a much lower salary. Mitchell will reportedly test the free agent market once his release is official. By the way, Tomlin and Colbert were at the Wake Forest pro day Tuesday afternoon.
#Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and GM Kevin Colbert spoke today with veteran safety Mike Mitchell, source said, and expressed they’re still interested in bringing him back. Mitchell will test the market once release is official, but door remains open.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 14, 2018
Personally, I can’t see Mitchell returning under any circumstances once he is jettisoned. The only way it would happen is if he gets the cold shoulder once released and is willing to re-sign a one-year contract for the veteran minimum. In short, that’s not going to happen. Mitchell should receive some minor attention from a few teams once he’s a street free agent.
Once the Steelers officially part ways with Mitchell they will clear $5 million in salary cap space minus roster displacement. It will be interesting to see if the Steelers retain fellow safety J.J. Wilcox on Wednesday as well as he’s scheduled to earn a base salary in 2018 of $3.125 million yet barely played last season on defense. There have been reports that the Steelers want to keep Wilcox, however.
Colbert usually never shuts the proverbial door behind any player he cuts as he likes to keep his options open. Just the same and unless injury strikes, Mitchell will likely be gone for good by Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Cornerback William Gay is supposed to be cut by the Steelers on Wednesday as well.