According to Tania Ganguli of ESPN, Texans NT Earl Mitchell is not expected to return to Houston in 2014.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 11, 2014
The report is not surprising considering many factors. Though the Texans are in a better financial situation than last year, their are other teams out there as well that like Mitchell that can offer more money than the Texans would be comfortable with paying Mitchell.
Mitchell, 26, was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He saw rotational snaps here and there before replacing Shaun Cody in the starting lineup this past season. He has great athleticism and quickness, two qualities for a Wade Phillips nose tackle, but with new DC Romeo Crennel around, his unique small size for the position doesn’t make him a match. Crennel prefers bigger, run-stuffing men in the middle for his defense.
Mitchell was receiving lots of praise over the last few weeks as one of the best defensive lineman available this offseason. He will likely find a multi-year deal and much more money than the Texans would have offered.
Here are some of the tweets regarding Mitchell:
Some good interest around for free agent to be NT Earl Mitchell. Still only 26 years old. Started 14 games in ’13. Can play 4-3, 3-4 systems
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) March 6, 2014
Only six free agents got “A” grades from ESPN’s BIll Polian, and Earl Mitchell was one. (insider content) http://t.co/a8pUhONp97
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) March 6, 2014
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