Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers free safety Mike Mitchell (21) reacts during the first quarter of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers sign safety Mike Mitchell

And you thought the Steelers weren’t going to make any news on the first day of free agency. Just as yinzers were yinzing all over the place about how the Steelers were taking naps during the first few hours of free agency, NFL.com has reported that the Steelers have signed 26-year old safety Mike Mitchell from the Carolina Panthers.

Mitchell was also being courted by the Redskins, Bears, Eagles, Broncos, and Falcons, per Chris Wesseling of NFL.com. Mitchell was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2009 and spent four seasons with them before signing a one-year deal with Carolina in 2013. He’s got 156 total career tackles and 7 sacks for his career. Last season for the Panthers he had 66 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 4 interceptions.

Mitchell will most likely be playing opposite Troy Polamalu which definitely means that if Ryan Clark’s phone is ringing, the Steelers are absolutely not on the other line. There were earlier reports today that the Steelers were interested in Miami’s Chis Clemons at safety, not to mention their reported interest in cornerback Alterraun Verner. Looks like the Steelers are shopping for defensive backs this offseason.

The Steelers clearly just upgraded at free safety going with Mitchell over Clark. The safety group just got a little bit younger, with Polamalu being the elder statesman who will pave the way for Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas to be the next Clark and Polamalu.

What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you like this free agent signing of Mike Mitchell?

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Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency Mike Mitchell Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Clark Troy Polamalu

  • BossSteelerChick

    Agree with your take. Hurts to see Ryan Clark go, but then I hate seeing any of our boys leave…the sad fact about the business end of the NFL. But we will welcome Mike Mitchell to Pittsburgh “Steeler Nation-style.”

  • Joshua Giovannone

    Love the sign. Really unexpected. Love Clark and have to thank him for all of his great years here. He and Troy have been fun to watch.

  • scott sinclair

    I love it!

  • Dom DiTolla

    Ridding themselves of the $61.5 million mistake & signing his replacement? Check

    Ridding themselves of one of the league’s worst free safeties in 2013 & signing his replacement? Check

    If they can find a way to keep Woods, Cotchery and either Velasco or Wallace this month, this Negative Nancy will be downright stoked if they can address the cornerback, wide receiver and tight end positions through the draft.

    Wild card berth in 2014 is not out of the question if the final part accomplished.

    • Kimmy

      Dom! I can totally picture your victory dance once the news broke about Woodley. This probably means the Steelers won’t be looking to draft a safety with this signing plus the re-signing of Polamalu and Allen, you ok with that?

      • Dom DiTolla

        I was pretty stoked, although it was anti-climatic since Worilds signed his transition tag last week. Nevertheless, I am glad to see they realized how poor of an investment it was.

        I am also happy that they found a long-term option at FS to start and have Thomas waiting in the wings to take over for Troy. Should free them up to plug holes on offense (WR and TE) early in the draft before they take advantage of deep CB class. They’ll likely have 9 total draft picks, and I would not bee sad if they double or even triple-dipped (one potentially being a UFA) at CB.

        As I mentioned before, though. I really hope they can keep Al Woods and Jerricho Cotchery. Got C. Wallace locked up, so I hope they can keep those two in town for depth purposes.