The Pittsburgh Steelers cut ties with safety Mike Mitchell in March due to his $5 million 2018 salary which Pittsburgh saw as too high for his level of play. There were rumblings that Mitchell may be brought back at a lower price tag, but it never came to fruition. Since his release, his market has been cold with only two known visits with NFL teams.
On October 9 a banged up Indianapolis Colts signed Mitchell to a one-year contract at the veteran minimum hoping he would bring veteran leadership and stability to a defensive squad near the bottom of the league in points allowed. His presence did not help a woeful performance against the New York Jets where the Colts defense forced the Jets to punt once during a 42-34 loss on the road. Mitchell played 76% of the snaps but generated just one tackle.
This past week was a different story as the Colts notched their second victory of the season with a strong performance spearheaded by Mitchell in a 37-5 rout of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were forced to turn to journeyman quarterback Derek Anderson. Mitchell feasted and stuffed the stat sheet with an interception, one forced fumble, two pass deflections, and seven solo tackles.
Mitchell’s AFC defensive player of the week was well deserved, but will he be able to be consistent? One of his biggest knocks Steelers fans had with him in his time with Pittsburgh. Steelers fans will point out that Pittsburgh is better off without him due to the emergence of Sean Davis after the transition to free safety. (Pro Football Focus 22nd ranked safety.)
Have the Steelers been better off without Mitchell so far in 2018? Will he be able to keep up being an integral part of the Colts defense moving forward?