Monday, February 24, 2014
Meet the free agents: LB Marvin Mitchell Every day we'll take a look at one of the Minnesota Vikings heading for free agency, what he has meant to the team before and a prognosis on whether or not he'll be back with the club in 2014.
What he made last season: $605,000 (cap number); $765,000 (cash value)
What he did last season: Mitchell started the season as the Vikings' weak-side linebacker, holding the spot until Desmond Bishop got comfortable enough with the Vikings' defense to overtake him in Week 5. When Bishop tore his ACL, Mitchell resumed his role as the starting linebacker, but with the Vikings playing so much nickel defense, Mitchell was rarely on the field enough to make a major impact. He never played more than 42 snaps in a game, and was never on the field for more than 13 pass plays in a game, according to Pro Football Focus. He had solid games against Washington and Cincinnati, but played sparingly most of the season.
His potential market value: He has been useful on special teams in recent years, and played a bit of middle linebacker in 2012, in addition to his work on the outside this year. Mitchell could have value to a team as a reserve, but considering he'll be 30 in October, he probably isn't going to find work as much more than a backup.
Will he still fit the Vikings? It probably doesn't hurt that Mitchell had one his better games against the Bengals last season (though new coach Mike Zimmer would have spent more time paying attention to the Vikings' offense than their defense while he was the Bengals' defensive coordinator). But the Vikings have enough young linebackers that it seems likely they'd look in another direction for one of their reserve spots, unless they decided they needed to bring Mitchell back for his special teams play.
What happens: Mitchell finds a reserve job with another team as the Vikings look to replace him with Gerald Hodges or a possible draft pick.