One of the main storylines you're likely to read is about the five-year, $25 million deal the Steelers gave to Mike Mitchell, and how it isn't too far off from what T.J. Ward got from the Denver Broncos.
It's up in the air whether Ward or Mitchell is better in coverage anyway, but clearly, Mitchell is the more athletic of the two. The big thing, though, is how he stepped up this season, wrote Ken Laird.
Ward is the better run defender, but Mitchell signed to play free safety in Pittsburgh, Ward is a strong safety. However, Pro Football Focus points out an intriguing stat regarding Mitchell.
More Mitchell from @PFF - "Major questions against the run. No safety missed more tackles than his 18"— Ken Laird (@Ken_Laird) March 11, 2014
PFF is a good resource, but it's also one that loves hyperbole. While 18 tackles is a reason for some concern, it's not as if most safeties miss one or two tackles a season. It's a point of emphasis in early coaching efforts for Mitchell, that's for sure. Or maybe it's a situation like Ivan Drago...whatever he hits, he destroys.
Still, it's fair to have some concerns considering his general lack of experience within a 3-4 defense and really only having 13 games of solid starting experience. Some will say the Steelers overpaid for him.
Steelers just overpaid a ton 4 Mike Mitchell..he's an average safety who had a good year because of the Panther's front 7. They'll regret it— Chris Mahan (@ChrisMahan33) March 11, 2014
Some people will refute that, and a few others who categorize him simply as "average."
mike mitchell had 11 QB hurries & 4 sacks in just 23 pressures in 2013. so he can pressure AND intercept. still not worth it?— psamp (@psamp) March 11, 2014