Standing at 6-3 and weighing in at 300 pounds, Houston Texans free agent Earl Mitchell has the numbers to play defensive tackle in the NFL, which he has the past four seasons with the Texans.
His best season of his four-year career was this past season, where he had a combined 48 tackles (30 solo) and 1.5 sacks, also a career-high.
The problem was the Texans were an NFL-worst 2-14 overall, and they might be in the mood to make a few changes to their lineup.
With Mitchell, his numbers seem to increase each season. Besides the 30 solo tackles this past year in 16 games, the Texans DT had 19 solo tackles (31 combined) in ’12, 14 solo in ’11 (27 combined) and 18 solo in ’10 during a rookie season where he collected 28 combined tackles.
Mitchell has 3.5 sacks for his career and four career pass deflections.
For ’13, his sack came in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and he had a half a sack in Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mitchell started 14 of 16 games but played in every game this past year. He didn’t make a start against Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos.
I believe the Texans should look really hard into re-signing him, because Mitchell seems to be getting better as his NFL career continues, plus he’s still young.
One thing about Mitchell is I worry if he’ll fit into the system of Romeo Crennel, as Mitchell seems to be more suited for a 4-3 defense, rather than a 3-4 that Crennel likes to use.
Either way, it looks like Mitchell won’t be super cheap as there are sure to be other suitors for him come March 11 when the signing period begins.
He’ll probably be looking for at least a four-year deal, and I just don’t know if the Texans will be willing to re-sign him to that type of contract, as they could easily take a gamble and look into the draft for his future replacement.
What do you think? Do you want Mitchell back with the Texans next season and beyond?