The Raiders opened camp with Mike Mitchell lining up as the starting strong safety. Tyvon Branch, the starter there for the past 2 seasons, was running at free. This alignment doesn't seem ideal for Oakland, as coverage isn't Branch's strong suit. It's still possible that the team signs a new FS. If this setup sticks, though, Mitchell becomes 1 of the bigger DB sleepers around. Branch compiled 228 tackles there over the past 2 years, and Stuart Schweigert previously found IDP relevance at the spot. Branch's value would take a hit at FS.
Steelers S Mike Mitchell played just 1 series against his old team in Thursday night's preseason finale before leaving with a right leg injury. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the former Panther suffered only a minor ding, which doesn't seem likely to affect his status for Week 1 of the regular season. Mitchell looks like a DB2 in your IDP draft.
Steelers S Mike Mitchell practiced Monday for the 1st time since training camp began with his new team. Mitchell had been sitting out because of a groin injury. He reported no setbacks after the workout but doesn't know yet whether he'll play in Saturday's preseason opener. Pittsburgh gave him a fairly large contract in free agency, so Mitchell's starting job is not in jeopardy. He's an upside option in the 2014 IDP rankings, taking over the role that helped Ryan Clark reach 100 tackles each of the past 3 years.
Steelers S Mike Mitchell is opening training camp on the PUP after injuring his groin in a pre-camp workout. ESPN's Scott Brown reports that the team expects Mitchell to miss just the 1st week of practice. That scenario shouldn't set back the veteran safety too much, even though he's learning a new defense after arriving from Carolina. But we'll be watching to make sure the groin doesn't become a recurring issue after his return. Mitchell carries decent fantasy upside after a relative breakout with the Panthers last year. We're not moving him down the 2014 IDP rankings just yet. Mitchell's absence should give 2nd-year S Shamarko Thomas a chance to work with the starters.
The Steelers have signed former Panthers S Mike Mitchell to a 5-year, $25 million contract. That seems a surprising move for a franchise long known for its conservative spending on the open market. Mitchell played his way out of Oakland after the Raider made him a surprise 2nd-round pick back in 2009 but enjoyed a terrific lone season in Carolina. Mitchell intercepted 4 passes, notched 4 sacks and forced 2 fumbles but largely provided just mediocre fantasy numbers. He'll replace S Ryan Clark and start next to S Troy Polamalu in Pittsburgh. His signing indicates that 2013 rookie S Shamarko Thomas failed to impress. Mitchell probably won't sit too high in our 2014 IDP rankings but could deliver low-DB2 value.
Panthers S Mike Mitchell said after Sunday's win at Miami that he had a lower-body injury and would have an MRI on Monday. According to Sports Xchange's Bill Voth, DC Sean McDermott said Monday, "That's news to me." We've seen no further report of a physical issue with Mitchell. We'll keep an eye out for anything this week, but our best guess is that he'll be fine for Week 13 and beyond.
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