Monday, August 1, 2011
Is Jayme Mitchell the answer in Cleveland?
By James Walker
The Cleveland Browns were projected to target high-profile defensive ends Ray Edwards and Charles Johnson in free agency. Instead, they settled on re-signing Jayme Mitchell.
Is this the right move for the Browns?
Mitchell, 27, has been a mystery player in Cleveland. The Browns' front office is very, very high on Mitchell and acquired him in a trade last season with the Minnesota Vikings.
But Mitchell didn't see the field at all for the Browns in 2010. Former Cleveland coach Eric Mangini wasn't as impressed as the front office and deactivated Mitchell for 12 games. Now, Mangini is replaced by rookie head coach Pat Shurmur, who says Mitchell is the favorite to start.
Barring injury, it looks like Cleveland's starting defensive ends are Mitchell and rookie second-round pick Jabaal Sheard. This is arguably the most important position in a 4-3 defense, and Cleveland is putting a lot of stock into two unproven players.
Mitchell has just five career sacks and one in the past three years. Cleveland's front office, led by president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert, has done a good job so far. But their abundance of confidence in Mitchell is risky.